Ashish Jagtiani is the name he was born with, though that is a bit of an urban legend.. He goes by the name of Jaggu, a very popular name across the airwaves. Dry, dark and lucid would describe him aptly, where one can only hope that one is not on the receiving end of that unholy trio.
The lobby of a large apartment building is Dubai’s human laboratory, the people you travel with in the elevator
represent a microcosm of the city’s varied residents. This is what I’ve seen so far
Children: They up the decibel level in an otherwise quiet, confined space. Once in a rare while Johnny will drop his schoolbag on your toe or Princess will swashbuckle your shirt with a crayon like a pirate of the Caribbean. Besides that they are generally well behaved and entertaining for 30 seconds, especially when they say things like ‘Mommy, can I have some of Daddy’s beer today.’
Nosy parkers: The guy with the wide smile. Most probably will start conversation with ‘So we’re neighbours, aren’t we.’ By the end of the ride he will know who stays with you, the job you do, the rent you pay, when your visa expires and who your favourite film star is. Next time you meet him, it will be dark, dirty secrets time. When you tell people about him, you will then realise that you don’t even know his name.
Money launderer: Stony faced, steps in with a bulging bag, doesn’t acknowledge your smile and head-nod. If
you catch him again on the way out, the bag is empty. The only way to hassle him is to keep staring at the bag
with an occasional wide-eyed look at him.
Life size Barbies – Completely dolled up, with vital statistics that only the best plastic surgeons can achieve.
Always entertaining to give them a big smile and watch them try and smile in return while not disturbing the botox
I-don’t-know-what-he-does-but-he-drives-a-Bentley guy: Generally affable fellow. If you get into a conversation
with him, he cannot, with any clarity, tell you exactly what he does in Dubai. Not worth probing either, otherwise he won’t like the question and you won’t like the answer, trust me.
Durgapur-se-aayi-Dubai housewife: Trying so hard to be hep that it hurts. In her effort to fit in, she glams it up a
couple of notches above an already glammed up city. Getting into an elevator with her makes you wonder in
whose house the costume party is and why you weren’t invited.
Family parade: Mommy, Daddy, little boy, littler girl, nanny, pet dog, baby bags, buggy, tricycle, snack box,
balloon, teddy bear, squeaky toy, trail of biscuit crumbs, saliva, high stress levels. Please take the next elevator.
Food critic: Or it seems as such. Very large fellow, with a faint smell of garlic. Looks like he’s taking a short break
between his third lunch and first dinner. Nice enough guy, but if you’re in the elevator with him and he grasps
his shirt pocket, be warned that he isn’t looking for something, he’s probably having a heart attack.
Staggering giggler: These you will meet in the wee hours of the morning. Stilettoes in hand, little black dress
disheveled, hair over her face, staggering towards the elevator with a sheepish laugh. She’s either embarrassed
to be seen like that or just got a joke somebody told her three hours ago. While travelling in the elevator with her,
be considerate and stand in the center, she needs the sides to lean against. Her swaying and giggling is funny
till she throws up.
Tourist: Enters as one entity, but requires space for three. Two extra for the shopping bags. Looks tired but happy. If it’s a couple, then the husband looks tired and the wife looks happy. If you ask ‘How was the shopping?’
Be prepared for a five minute answer. The only pause in discussion comes from looking quizzically at the floor
button panel, while they look for the right one to press. You can always tell a tourist by how long they take to find
the correct floor to press.
Professional in dead end job: Well dressed, but looks worse for wear. Has a world weary expression about him.
Won’t look at you, won’t say hello, won’t acknowledge your greeting. He’s not ignoring you, he’s just lost in
thoughts like what is he doing here, can a 2% increase in salary actually be called a raise or an accounting error, if he stabs his boss will anybody find out. He’s busy, leave him alone.
Gym fixture: Sweaty yet studly. He enters the elevator having burned more calories from his gym session than
you burned all of last month. The heavy breathing is not to be mistaken for him being a perv, he’s just run the
equivalent length of Sheikh Zayed road, he’s entitled to catch his breath. Be inspired by him but try and avoid
stepping in his sweat puddle