Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The most memorable day of my life

It has been one of the most memorable days of my life. I was privileged to get up close and personal with the wonderful Sphinx and other magnificent Pyramids here in Cairo, Egypt. The ancient history that runs in thousands of years and why these Pyramids were built, the fear-n-preparations for after-life and the sturdy architecture that has stood the test of time...I absorbed it all with baited breath. Ironically, the sad state of Egyptian economy is a cause of concern. The souvinir vendors outside the Pyramids were willing to sell their wares at dirt cheap prices. Their desperation was palpable. I genuinely hope the Tourism industry picks up again.

We ate Koshary for Lunch, a very fine Egyptian delicacy. Its an Egyptian equivalent of Pasta. Very spicy and extremely tasty. We relaxed in the afternoon in our hotel. I swam for the second time during the day and it was very relaxing.

In the evening we went to Cairo Opera House where a Bollywood Dance workshop was taking place. Many Egyptian youngsters grooved to Bollywood songs. We moved over to Mariott Hotel where Mr Bachchan is staying. A very excited Indian community enthusiastically met Mr Bachchan and narrated their heartfelt views about him. Obviously Big B was overwhelmed. Later he was felicitated by the Egyptian community at India House. Nile river wafted along at one side of India House. It was sublimely pleasant and soothing to see quiet boats saunter along on the lighted water of History. I interviewed Mr Bachchan and it was wonderful talking to Big B. It was even more special because since yesterday I've met so many Egyptians who love him like crazy. It was wonderful chatting him up. It was great to see him happy. He also spoke about being conferred upon with Padma Vibhushan. I told him, I'll be happiest when he will be conferred upon with Bharat Ratna. If anyone deserves it then its him. Hope it happens.

I am writing this in the Bus close to midnight as we are speeding towards the hotel. I am so tired that I couldn't have written the diary on reaching the hotel. I am glad I could complete writing today's account even as my eyes are threatening to shut down :-)

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Amitabh Bachchan is God": Day 1 of my Egypt Diaries

"Amitabh Bachchan is God," said a shopkeeper in the busy local market in Cairo, Egypt. The entire day was spent being Bachchan-struck. Egypt seems to be majorly in love with Big B. Mr Bachchan will be the guest of honour at 'India by the Nile' festival in Cairo. He shall arrive in Cairo tomorrow March 30, 2015 on a chartered flight and he will be felicitated by Indian and Egyptian dignitaries in two separate functions tomorrow. A press conference will be addressed by Mr Bachchan on March 31 morning and the day shall end with a memorable evening at Pyramids with Big B.

Today started early for me as I boarded an Egypt Air flight in the morning. I read 'My name is Abu Salem' by Hussain Zaidi on the flight. It is a gripping book about the life and times of dreaded gangster Abu Salem. Some startling facts have been revealed in the book. I shall talk about the book in detail in a separate post.

The media delegation was escorted in a bus to the hotel. Our guide is an amiable guy named Sheriff Hassan who proudly spoke about the colossal history of Egypt. He was realistic when he spoke about the adverse impact of the 2011 revolution that negatively impacted the tourism of this country to some extent. Cairo has a burgeoning population of 23 million and it boasts of 4 million cars. Petrol is extremely cheap at 3 liters/1 USD.

We are staying at Movenpick hotel in Cairo that overlooks the Pyramids. The first sight of the massive beauties was a surreal experience. In the evening we met Mr Navdeep Suri, the Ambassador of India in Egypt at India House. Magnificent view of Nile from his house was a treat. Mr Suri came across as a genuine guy who has made solid efforts to create awareness about Indian culture in Egypt and in promoting Indians thronging Egypt as a tourist destination.

We shall be going for a city tour in Cairo tomorrow. We shall also be going for a couple of days to the historically refined city of Luxor and there will be a day trip to the biggest Port town in Egypt, Alexandria. I am really looking forward to absorbing every single experience during this trip. Bring it on! As of now...looking forward to a good night's sleep. Catch you later :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sculpting an illustrious future

This is a poem that I've written for Hanzla, 6 year old son of my friend Tauheed Mahtab

Seeds of inquisitiveness 
Talent for intuitiveness
Handsomeness comes easy
He is always busy
Starting early with technology
Understands human psychology
The parents are doting
He's good at noting
The changes in the world are external
Real men are made in the Mind, it's all internal
Time is sculpting an illustrious future
Sky is the limit,see the big picture
Hope you open up your horizons and accept everyone
You lead, show it to all, we are all one!