Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blooming Beauties!

A long break from blogging, as other priorities have sort of pushed my blogging time, right down, and had to pull it up, with great difficulty, to give its rightful place, right on top, after oh- so- long! So just putting up two tiny blogs, with pictures to do more of the talking!

With the summer waning away and climate turning absolutely pleasant, picked up few plants at the nursery. I think it belongs to the zinnia family, though not sure. They looked lovely, in full bloom, and some buds still to open up. The entire family took it up to tenderly water the pots and placing them on sills for its daily dose of sunlight, and then putting them back in time. And well the effort did shine through, much to our delight!

It’s Fauna this time...!

A wonderful huge garden, relatively close to our place, is hugely popular, during the pre-winter season, where families throng the place for picnics. Crowds descending with a trail of stuff, the pram, the cycle, the bats and the balls, the huge mats, blankets the entire barbeque embellishments, and the huge food bag(s) ofcourse. Its fun watching them troop in like an army building up their base! Huge stetches of green grass, big drooping trees, and well laid walking paths and pavements, and not to forget the lovely lamp posts, which looked great as the night crept in!

The best part was the visit to the mini zoo, within the huge park, which never fails to delight, especially the liitle ones who go all ga-ga watching either the tricks of the monkeys or awed by the huge ostrich strutting around. Was glad the animals were enjoying the brilliant weather, and hoped that the summer to follow is not too harsh on them. So just a few pictures, though not very good ones, which manage to capture the animals, who mustve made an arduous trip across oceans and plains, to be here, in this Arabian desert, warming the hearts of the multitude, who go back with a definite skip in their steps and a smile on their face.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And then it poured!!

With the onset of October, the scorching heat gave way to milder, pleasanter days and nights. So could see people, out in the streets, especially in the evenings and weekends. More of picnics, more of trips to the beach, trying to make most of it, the outings, before it turns too chill for comfort, towards November. The past two weeks though, it began to turn muggy and humid, sort of upsetting things. Well, that was a prelude to the showers to follow, was not known then. Well what a shower it turned out to be, yesterday!!

It did rain cats and dogs, atleast in our part of Kuwait, for surprisingly there were parts which didn't seem to have received any! It was lovely, all the prerequisites of a perfect rainy day! Starting with a consistent cool breeze, (which always is accompanied by a '' or rather a loud whistling noise around here), the darkening clouds, the smell of damp soil, the claps of thunder, and the dazzling lightening too! What seemed to be a mild drizzle to begin with, gained momentum and it was a full fledged pour, lasting for few hours.

Was reminded of the scores of Indian Monsoon we have been part of, more so when we saw kids and ladies stepping out to 'have a dance' in the rain!! Most windows were thrown open, and heads popping out, straining to have a look at this wonderful gushing, gurgling dripping wet sight; to an otherwise dry, dusty, arid scene outside. Streams of muddy water making their way to the nearest outlet, cars and buildings stumped, by this sudden torrid wash, and the pigeons and cats, scurrying for cover or huddled up in corners. The rain did take the desert land by surprise, to say the least, man ,besast et al!!

And it was such a comforting coincidence, that the rains did not make its sudden appearance during our Diwali Celebrations, the previous two days. The general festive mood, though slightly felt was there alright; and with the usual rituals being carried out in a foreign land, they seem to take on a greater significance. So a very eventful week, with loads of goodies to gorge ourselves on, lots of visiting to be in done, getting in touch with friends and family, sharing of good times and wishes - what festivals are all about!

So gearing up for winter, in the offing, summer clothes stacked away, and the woolies dragged down. Sigh! In for a, not long, but a cold, merciless season of heaters and sweaters, socks and gloves, and maybe laced with hot coffee and crispies, steaming kababs and pizzas doesn't seem all that gloomy!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Visit to the Kuwait Towers

Planning for an outing on Id, did not leave us with many choices. But Kuwait Towers worked out to be a great choice by the end of the day. We had been forewarned about a possible preposterous traffic rush, and a general closure of all activities around. But what welcomed us were stretches of empty roads, a great sunny day, and people (minimal, mostly non-Muslims, and many non-Asians, for a change) lazily moving around, relaxed and taking in, and relishing the general holiday mood. Could see mums, dads with kids, cycling, or maybe old friends taking a leisurely stroll, along the beach. This was the view along the Gulf Road, which runs along almost the entire eastern stretch of Kuwait, alongside the lapping waters of the Arabian or as it was called earlier,Persian Gulf.

As we approach the towers, which is situated on a slightly curved small peninsula like extension, towards the Gulf, we need to take a sharp right turn, while the Gulf Road, takes a left turn to continue along the contour of the land, north- westward. The first impression is amazement at the sheer size of the three towers, with the blue balls perched atop. We get our entry tickets, and by the time we count five, we are at the top floor! That was quick quips my son, as we step out into the viewing area. It is circular rotating platform, from where we are able to take in the entire view. Initially the triangular viewing sections were a bit dirty for our liking, but soon we could see the window cleaners doing their job, moving up and down, in their motorised shafts. We could see the portion of land below, gently curving in further into the sea, with a huge water park strategically placed, along a lovely coast line. We could also catch sight of the ball at closer range, where we could see, they were actually covered with small disc shaped metal pieces in shades of blue, which gives it the colour.

The insides were furnished with polished metal and granite, and could see some photos, displaying scenes, when the Tower was vandalised, during the Iraq War, and how it was restored. The tower has been around for quite some time, first opened to public in 1979! There was an interesting curio shop, featuring the typical memorabilia, and typically steep priced. There was a viewing telescope through which we couldn’t see much, because it was timed, and before we could decide on a spot and focus, the time was up. So don’t see what’s the whole fun, in having telescopes auto timed! So done with viewing and clicking and more clicking of snaps, zoomed down to have a bite, at a sandwich counter, and the juice was a great quencher. The garden below was green, real green surprisingly and the grass, fresh and wet! So after a short walk below, as it was almost noon by then, along the dyked coast, was back along the swerving Gulf Road, glad at having had a good time at one of the ‘must see’ spots in Kuwait.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To Tag or not to??

Well, doing a Tag, Tagging, are stuff, that comes along with the package i guess, of being, in Blogdom. Me being a novice still, totally at a loss as to how you go about making Tags interesting; still left clueless. For some veterans it seems to be a cake walk, coming up with witty one-liners effortlessly. And the questions were sort of, a bit queasy at times, and had to wade my way through them. Ofcourse being tagged is an official way of informing that your presence has been acknowledged i guess. So my heartfelt thanks to the initiation, by Reflections.
And here goes....

If you can have a dream come true, what would it be.
As of now….being able to spend more time with my little niece.
Whose butt would you like to kick?
The minds behind the terrorist attacks.
What would you do with a billion dollars?
Just sit tight for a while, with a Cheshire smile on my face!
If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
Three square meals, for every individual on the face of this earth.
Will you fall in love with your best friend?
It happens all the while i guess, and if it equates to absolutely loving your friend!
If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
Dejection, Anger and Retrospection!
If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
Picking up dresses is done.
Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
Both i would think, even if it be at different points of time.
How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
Wait and ????
If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
Its no heinous crime to ‘like’ a person i guess, secretly, attached or whatever!
What takes you down the fastest?
Listening to someone go back on their words.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
(Hope to) Satisfied and Happy with Myself!
What’s your fear?
That I would not do full justice to my potentials (whatever little), and opportunities that come
my way.
Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
As many had mentioned, would like to change the combination!
Would you give all in a relationship?
Most of the times, i guess.
Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?
Same as above!
Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
Being in a good relationship, doesn’t bring in the preference i guess.
What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
: A very interesting, positive and lively person, or that’s what she comes across as, in her two wonderful blog sites.

Phew! Done with it. And as per the rules of the tag, i am supposed to Tag few more, but me being relatively new i think i would exempt myself from the rule! ;) Maybe next time round, when I am Tagged, hoping to have more readers to Tag! So Beware!! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Closer home

The route from Goa to Pune was awesome, rain and mist playing havoc with the hills and cascades of the grand Western Ghats, whipping up a stunningly beautiful landscape. The pictures would say it all I guess. Monsoon again, though was on the wane, so got to feast on some steaming hot corns and delicious vada paavs, enroute.

Meeting old friends with lots of catching up to do (both for us and kids), visiting our usual haunts, observing the growing changes, were all part of the short trip. Getting back to your old friends is such a lovely experience, its like getting back to your own self; where one’s thoughts, aspirations, fears and triumphs are voiced out, only to be totally understood and empathised with, and the huge gap of time and distance becomes, as good as non-existent. I would think maintaining and keeping alive old friendships, is such an important and special chore, in one’s life, that gives such a fulfilling and an enriching dimension to our otherwise routine life.

My train trip from Pune was like experiencing a slice of India indeed, in its true sense and spirit. Be it the change in terrain, the shades of the soil, the flora and fauna, the village scenes - they are all so different, as you cross the so called borders (of states); but each one of them be it the brightly painted yellow ‘lorries’, or the ambling, rattling six-seaters, the eclectic crowd thronging the countless stations strewn all over the country, the language or the dialect, each bursting with its individual identity and pride. The entire experience offers such a diverse, exciting adventure of sorts, to say the least. And this being the scene outside the metal windows, what one can expect on the inside is your own guess! Never a dull moment, nothing like a train ride, as it whistles and rattles past, the much worn tracks traversing huge sections of our homeland. Was constantly reminded of the lovely lovely, 'From a railway carriage’ by RLStevenson. This was an interesting link on the net -

Trichy, my dear home town, where we had a family meet, was a memorable experience. And so was left with not much time to do our usual shopping, restaurant and cinema hall hunts! There was this slight and sometime not so slight showers that played spoil sport too. Anyhow family did get to visit the famous ‘Ucchi pillayar koil’ the Rockfort Temple as its called, sans me. So have some lovely pictures of Trichy/Tiruchirapalli from atop, not a bird's view, more like a goat's view!! The splendid Cauvery weaving its way in the background, the imposing structure of Srirangam (temple), and a portion of the Pillayar koil where there is a small connection with the inroads.

Looking back,it was a terrific trip, and now loaded with pictures and memories to last for a while, frozen and preserved.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gorgeous Goa

It was a wonderful memorable trip, though it included constant packing and unpacking, living outside suitcases. Felt good stowing away all those huge cases, which will have some respite, after their hectic run, this season!

Shall touch upon Goa, where I got to spend time leisurely, without any agenda. It has never been a tourist visit, it’s always more of a family trip, and we get to stay at home, with our extended family. So the bonus being, you get to view the place in all its shades and manifestations. And the longer you stay in the place the general air, the character of the place seems to linger and sort of pervade your senses. And so it is, addictive, to millions of tourists thronging this place from, across the globe.

It was monsoon, and so one can imagine how lovely it would have been. I, after my stint in an arid desert zone, my mind went berserk. The flora, the greenery, the swaying palms, the ferns, the fresh dew laden grass, the squelchy mud, and ofcourse the thundering showers! Walking through swirling waters hoping there isn’t a manhole, along the way, giving way to blaring cars with swishing wipers, and two-wheelers trying to juggle their way off potholes, all the while, trying to huddle inside an umbrella, which does more to hinder your view than protect (the already wet) you. Was all in good fun!

Loved those brightly (read orange, red, ochre, dark blue) painted stately houses, that stand tall and proud on terraced slopes. And lovelier gardens so well maintained, looking all pretty and bright. One doesn’t need green fingers out here I think, the foliage seems to have a vibrant life of its own, and seems to pulsate with vitality. And it is so heartening to observe that, Goa has managed to stay and retain much of its large expanses of natural terrain, in the midst of which you happen to see buildings sprouting up, or roads swerving down, almost merging with the landscape.

The seas being too rough and wild in monsoon, the beaches ofcourse were out of bound. But did get to watch, this beautiful myriad of colours, shifting and mesmerising us with a backdrop, which was breathtakingly stunning. It was a great way to end our trip, filled with a sense of subdued calm and tranquillity inter-mingled with joy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lovely weather here down south, and a great time to be on vacation. Showers every alternate day, and mostly at night, makes it all the more pleasant and un-invasive. Great for morning walks, the soil still being damp and at places squelchy, dotted with chocolate puddles. The morning breeze being so fresh and invigorating, that it falls under the list of ‘those inexplicable’ blissful sensastions.

The roads in the early part of the day, bears no resemblance to what it is, during the better part of the day! Wading through a sea of vehicles, could well be an adventure sport in its own right! Nosing your way, sidling into the gaps, instincts razor sharp, you need them, either to swerve dramatically, to avoid an over speeding driver, zipping inches away, or to wedge your vehicle into the narrowest gap in front of you, before nudged by a million other forms on wheels. Its survival of the fittest, the fastest and the smartest out there. While in the back seat, its best to just shut your eyes, or take part in some deep, engrosing conversation, wherein you allow yourself not to be distracted by a racey action-flick, unfolding right before your eyes!

Just thought would touch upon some interesting features about food in the Middle East. The staple diet or rather the one you would order in an restaurant would be like khubuz and hummus (vegetarian), and showrma or shish taouk(non-vegetarian) along with pickles and garlic dip, and of course the famous Biryani .

Khubuz (has varied spellings and pronunciations!) also known as 'pita', very much like our Naan, and is a bread baked in a kiln, and removed by metal rods, just like our rotis. But slightly thicker and sort of spongy and yeasty.

Shawarma is a non-veg dish (of chicken or lamb) where the soft tender cooked meat, is shredded and garnished. Eaten as a roll or sandwhich with the khubuz.

Hummus is a dip or a main side dish, basically made of ground chickpeas or channa. It has a nice smooth consistency and is very wholesome.

Shish taouk is basically chicken kabab, served with salad. The only difference, from its Indian counterpart being that, they form one long section, instead of chopped individual pieces.

Garlic Dip - Not sure what the exact Arabic name is, but it is an almost inevitable accompaniment, and is said to neutralise the effect of excessive fat and oil in the meal.

Biryani - To be honest I have not tasted a typical Kuwaiti Biryani, so will refrain from saying much, except for the fact that the dish did indeed cross over from Persia across the Arabian Sea to India. So I would think it would taste much the same as it does in India! Maybe another blog can be dedicated to this Queen of all Dishes at a later stage; Or would welcome fellow bloggers or readers to contribute towards this section.
From my limited knowledge, and from what I have observed from my short stay in Kuwait, I understand that the cuisine, is a mixture of Lebanese and Iraqi and Arabian cuisine. And ofcourse the country has been sort of swamped by fast food chains, which are so very popular, that you tend to find them more, than the typical Arabi restaurants, and followed closely by Indian restaurants of course. So we do have our share of Dosas and Butter chickens and Utthappams and Naans, regulary at the local 'Udippis' or 'Saagars' and the 'Daawats'!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A summer evening

The fauna and flora here is nothing spectacular I would think, or rather nothing much to write about; but still when you set your mind to it, you can have your share of greenery, or rather in this part of Kuwait, it would be ‘brownery’. The fact that the landscape is so oft ravaged by sandstorms, the plants bear the brunt, and tend to be laden by the constant onslaught of sand particles. They seem to sort of weigh down on them, and stay put, giving them a brownish tinge, to the entire structure of the plant, tree, so much so that it merges perfectly with the sandy landscape.

Right in the middle of summer vacation, another month or so, to go still, and you see crowded streets, malls, and of course open grounds, dotted with numerous football teams, of varying age groups, and varying energy levels. Was reminded of our playgrounds being crammed, with charged up feisty players, (predominantly the 5-14 yr olds) brandishing their invincible bat, and lunging with all that they have got, to get the perfect yorker. And scanning for a similar sight, was awarded with one, and heart did leap with joy to behold a team, made of all but 8 players, but the spirit there all the same, heaving a mighty six, and the lunge to catch the ball. Cricket is around, trying to carve a niche, and managing to, amidst the roaring fury of football mania.

When you search for beauty, you are sure to find it, or so I would like to think. So as the twilight set in, managed to get this ‘colourful’ image, with the tiny dot of moon, heralding yet another long, warm night.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crazy Phrase-y (Word Game)

Rules of the Game : Starting with the given word, form a sentence, without using prepositions, pronouns or conjunctions. Poetic or wacky, it is entirely your choice. Points are not awarded, just based on the length of the sentence, vocabulary and expression also counts! The word given here is
Falling .....
Falling leaves swirl languorously gliding, swaying, creating a beautiful pattern, the blue sky, the canvas.

Falling down served many a purpose, including a smashed ladder, heralding a tinkling laugh, making matters worse indeed.

Lets see who comes up with the phrasiest of the phrase-y sentences. Bring in the poetic streak, then on it becomes easy! Do pitch in, and have fun.

The following list, is not an exhaustive one, so some concessions have been made. But the specified words are to be skipped, or else will entail disqualification. Happy phrasing!!

Prepositions"about," "above," "across," "after," "against," "along," "among," "around," "at," "before," "behind," "below," "beneath," "beside," "between," "beyond," "but," "by," "despite," "down," "during," "except," "for," "from," "in," "inside," "into," "like," "near," "of," "off," "on," "onto," "out," "outside," "over," "past," "since," "through," "throughout," "till," "to," "toward," "under," "underneath," "until," "up," "upon," "with," "within," and "without."

Pronouns"I," "you," "she," "he," "it," "we," "you," "they,” "me," "you," "her," "him," "it," "us," "you," and "them."

Conjunctions - "and," "but," "or," "nor," "for," "so," or "yet", "after," "although," "as," "because," "before," "how," "if," "once," "since," "than," "that," "though," "till," "until," "when," "where," "whether," and "while."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sandstorms and Seagulls!

The Dust storm seems to have come to stay. Will be around for a while, it looks like, sometimes mild, sometimes descending with a vengeance shrouding the entire vicinity, with a thick blanket of fine swirling stand, and at times almost non-existent; but it’s there alright. And the strangest part being, geographically, it has been stated that the monsoon rains, towards the south-easterly direction in the globe, and the dust storms here, are connected. And so, as the dust and sand, goes through its angry journey across the desert lands, the rain unleashes itself on areas, just divided by a large expanse of ocean. How and why, it is beyond me, though of course it is all to do with the Elements of earth, going on with its routine, with some party days, thrown in, I guess.

Watching the waves in its incessant trips to the shore, is always a pleasure. And getting to see the seagulls making its rounds, perching on a stray boulder or a boat, is interesting too. The view from the tower in Al-Kout, is something I always look forward to. Somehow, suddenly you seem to rise above the motley crowd of human race, and get to be with nature, with just a few flights of steps. The rounded pebble like rocks which form the jetty, itself looks lovely and distinct; the sea line dotted with few bobbing boats, and the birds trying to catch their feed, wait patiently or keep hovering around, yet don’t come too near the shoreline. The coastline looks pretty impressive too, with the high-rise buildings reaching for the sky. Leaves one to wonder, however grand, imposing and luxurious man tries to make his creations (Al-kout Mall), what actually soothes your self, and brings in a sense of peace is of course the creations of nature, and its wonderful we get to find it, amidst our other pursuits. (Thanks to kuw son of flickr for this lovely breathtaking picture of the tower.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008


" Help rendered to another cannot be measured
by the extent of assistance imparted;
Its real measure is the recipient's worthiness. "(105)

This is indeed, not just an inspiring thought, but such a humbling one too. I mean, its always assumed that the giver is on a higher plane, and gains more points too!! But this totally challenges that concept. Its beautiful actually the thought, and coming from someone who passed this planet around the 200 BC era!! One of the pearls of wisdom of the Poet Thiruvalluvar, from the southern tip of India.

Such insights, such a lovely grasp of the oddities of human life in all its forms. While reading Thomas Hardy, struck me how thinkers and writers had this luxury of completely ransacking the human mind, at leisure, and then laying out all that they had found, and finally arrive at, theories as to, why people are, the way they are. And these theories most of them turn out to be real profound and so well scripted. In this period of diversified but short span interests and distractions, I think the time taken to ponder and ruminate on something is come in a wonderful form of 'Blogging'! So we are the unofficial 'thinkers' or maybe even the undisputed philosophers of this era!! That's a quirky thought!

The wind is almost howling as it blows against my window panes, and slightly the panes shudder. Yes it has been predicted to be a mild warm day, and its such a blessing I would think. Hope it lasts through the weekend.