Friday, February 6, 2009

Humor amidst crisis : 3 funny stories from Dubai

Amidst all the stories of gloom and doom that one reads in the newspapers these days, the saving grace is some funny stories which stand out, and compel us to think that life is not to be taken too seriously after all. There is humor amidst all the tragedy and struggle around us. In the span of less than ten days, three stories caught my attention. Observing the media on a daily basis can be a very interesting exercise. On days, I have seen two stories contradict each other on very big issues and on the same page of one newspaper.
The first was about a man trying to steal pigeons into Dubai. This gentleman, an Australian had wrapped the poor creatures in newspapers and kept them in his trousers. Add to this, there were a few eggs too. How he managed to smuggle them and keep the birds alive is beyond comprehension. He was caught at the Airport when passing through the immigration checks. Was he testing the limits of the security checks or the limits of his own foolishness, one doesn’t know.

The second story was about an Indian man arrested for cross-dressing . He was apparently wearing a bra and was caught in the act of putting on mascara at the Mall of Emirates. The police arrested him for indecency and indulging in cross-dressing. The man confessed to behaving in such a bizarre manner as he was due to act in a Bollywood film in which he played a woman’s role. But I guess he did not know the limits to which the law can be stretched.

The third story was in The National, an Abudhabi based newspaper. “Errant drivers to be sent on anger management courses” screamed the front page headline. Looking at the limits to which the laws in UAE can go to ensure that people obey the law, this sounds funny. Granted that all drivers don’t drive carefully and conscientiously. But anger management courses ? This seems a bit funny. Faisal Al Qasim, head of the Dubai Police Traffic Institute was quoted as saying “ Issuing fines and suspending licenses is not everything, we realized that people here lack the traffic awareness that exists in other countries such as the US or UK”.
Humor is embedded in the fabric of Dubai. One only needs to look at the absurd behavior of many people to see it. Many times, it is not ignorance, innocence or combination of both that makes these stories newsworthy.