Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Smera goes to work !!

Smera’s school is a wonderful in many ways, but I will write about that in separate post. However this post is all about one of the activities Smera’s class was participating in last week, knowing about “Community Helpers”. The class discussed about different people that help keep our community safe and clean. Some of the professions discussed were about – doctors, nurses, firemen, police and paramedics etc.

At this age kids want to learn and experience new things. I love to take Smera to show how a tailor stitches, how construction workers help make buildings and road or show her cookery show to how much efforts goes into making a meal. This is a wonderful age she loves to emulate these experiences when she is playing herself.

So last week Smera was a nurse, a little tribute to her Granny and my mother-in-law, who worked for a little over 30 years as a nurse. On our recent trip to Muscat we drove to Sur to meet one of mom’s friends, who had such wonderful things to tell about her. Of course we know she is wonderful, but it made us proud to hear from someone else about her.

With that fresh memory in my head, I thought Smera could be a nurse in the dress-up as community helper day! So I went ahead and got her a doctor set, made a little badge “Smera George – Nursing Assistant” and my hubby wrote a little note, for her teacher to read out to the class.  

She was so excited that when we went to pick my mum, her other granny she checked all her colleagues and those unwell were given gummy bear medicines to get well. The best part is we all love to play the part along with her, re-living childhood days.

Once she was bored of the doctor play, she decided to open a store and put all the new clothes on sale on table, selling us her new clothes that my mum got her. It was so much fun to see her, negotiating the price with us and then when she would get bored she would ask us to go away and come later!

Smera has a lot to thank both her grannies for such a wonderful last week and for all the fun she had while playing the part of a nurse and a shop-keeper. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Eid holidays with Green Turtles

We are back home from our little Eid holidays trip and all settled back into our routine. It was a refreshing little break to my bro-in-laws place in Muscat.  The best part was the little family reunion - Smera with catching up her cousins sisters and brothers and the night long gossip sessions with the sister-in-law.  However the highlight of the trip was our visit to Ras-al-Hadd, very famous for its green turtle nesting conservatory. 

After couple of hours drive from the Muscat and overtaking countless rocky mountains on either side, we pulled up to this place on a secluded beach. The beach house belonged to one of our family friends and was all ours for the duration of our stay. We settled in at once after a bit of cleaning up. It was around 8 at night when we tucked in the noodles and chicken and waited eagerly for the turtle trail.

It was a moonlit night and there is nothing like walking on the beach with cool breeze hitting your face and sand in your shoes. We were a gang of 11, silently waiting to see the Green Turtles to come towards the land to lay eggs. In the mean time, we made sure we kept the kids occupied by making sand castles and interconnecting network of underground tunnels – it was so much fun that even the adults enjoyed it.

From a distance we could see a few of the turtles slowly walking towards the land, the waves helping them come ashore. The slowly walk towards the land and find a good spot lay eggs. It takes them about 10-15 minutes to dig a safe for them to lay eggs and once done they would cover it up, for them hatch. 

The entire experience was breathtaking, every element of the nature helps nest here. The moon gives them enough light, the waves help the come on to the shore, take them back once they are ready to go back and lastly the sand provides a safe nest for eggs to hatch safely. Once the eggs hatch the tiny new-baby turtle would quickly rush off to the sea. It’s magical to see them swiftly walking towards the waves, the noise from the waves guides them home.

However there is a catch to it, you cannot make noise, use big torch and click picture as it would disturb and the local guide makes all this rule perfectly clear before the start of the tour. They would end tour right then if we break even once single rule.

Oman takes pride in the fact that the Green turtles have chosen their land to nest. With great care they make sure no harm is done to them. During the conversation, the guide mentioned that some the tagged turtles have been tracked as far as Africa. If you are anytime around visiting Oman then I would highly recommend you to visit this incredible place, almost close to heaven on Earth. To add cherry on the top the drive from Muscat to Ras al Hadd is picturesque, definitely one not to be missed. 

The morning after the viewing the turtles, catching the glimpse of the Sun rising!! 

Heading to the waves 

Lost the path a bit but the sunshine helped him get back!

Breakfast time

Looking out for some more

Sunshine and morning walk is good everybody's health, including this one's 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

There's Smileage in it

Travelling back to Doha filled me up with nostalgia. The trip must have been five years back now or then about a year and a bit since I quit my job at the Qatar Airways to move to Dubai. Getting myself comfortable in-flight I was super excited at the prospects of being back to the city which was home for over 2 years. I was also looking forward to meeting my cousins and their lovely daughter. So you can understand my disappointment when I was told at the immigration that I cannot enter the country as they had just implemented a rule which prohibits re-entry for 2 years for anyone who had cancelled their visas.

To this date I cannot figure out why anyone would have such a rule, but that is not the story. Walking into the immigration with my husband who did not have any problem getting in, I was devastated to hear that I need to fly back to Dubai and was an absolute bummer for both of us. We asked if we could meet someone more senior to reason it out. After a short wait when the manager arrived, I was fuming with anger and did not even bother to extend slightest of courtesy or to listen to what he had to say. I just lost my cool as any normal person would (?).

The answer was NO. As I was on the verge of tears, the ever so polite hubby pitched in and requested them to try one last time if possible by speaking to their supervisor. One of the biggest gift that god has bestowed him with is a calm head. And the rest was magic

Voila! All it took was his gentle words and a sweet smile, my passport was stamped. That very instant I realised my mistake and I felt so ashamed of myself, plus got an earful I got from the hubby. I could have put down plenty of reasons for my arrogant behaviour, but I didn’t once think that how difficult a job is especially when you are meeting people like me almost every day or once every hour.

 That was a big lesson for me and from then on, I have practised the art of smiling and being polite with people I meet, be it a cashier, the cleaning boy, my neighbours, taxi drivers and the list will go on. I am sure many people would even thought of me as a mad lady just randomly smiling at them.

Don’t get me wrong I haven’t turned to a saint by any stretch of imagination and still lose my cool occasionally but have reformed myself a great deal along with the improved odds of getting things done. This helps me get freshest of veggies, even if they are not on the shelf, free coffee, free clean-up of stained car seats, discounts and extra special pedicure.

 Thinking about it, I have always seen my mum practice it and my mum-in-law who retired as head of nurse, talking of empathy, putting ourselves in other’s situation but that night I forgot all that since I was upset. It took me a proverbial slap on the face to recognise that.

I am sure we all have learnt a very popular phrase – Smile and the world smiles with you, weep and you weep alone! Remember it’s not that the people are bad, sometimes the situations are. A smile can even sometimes make the impossible, possible!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good riddance to a clumsy week

The last week had been an ultimate compilation of silly happenings. A great deal of nonsensical things took place that I am forced to put it on list as if I was going to present this first thing tomorrow morning at work.

  1. Christmas is two months away and the little one is already getting into the festive mood, blame it on the school for practising well in advance for their Christmas Concert. On the weekend while driving to grab a bite, I hear my daughter sing “one ho open snake, hey jingle bells”. I am sure even the sweet Santa would not love the idea of a snake on his sleigh.

Image: Sangrywords

  1. While mall-hopping I decided to tryout a pair of cool walking shoes, putting them on I got tempted to check out it in the mirror if looked as good as they fit. Thud !! – was the next sound that everyone heard. It so happened that in my excitement I didn’t realise that the shoes were strung together with a thin, plastic tag almost invisible to my eye.

  1. Picking up myself from the embarrassing situation, I quickly evacuated the store. Of course with the shoes and I saw the hubby sitting on a barber’s chair.  Of course it wasn’t for a haircut (thank god for that), it was really for the smiling ladies who wanted him to tryout sample of Nivea’s new shaving gel.

  1. Adding to all the humor in our lives, the newly rented apartment too has been acting funny with us. A little over a week and we still have not switched on the AC. The apartment is extremely cold for our liking, especially for my hubby who has lived in tropical part of India all his life.

I am not blaming him but even the coconut oil in my pantry is frozen. To top it up, my mum who is just the opposite is planning a visit soon and she has promised to bring us sweaters and mufflers, as she cannot live without the AC in Dubai. If possible she would love for us to shift to Alaska.

  1. Another incident not really silly conversely flattering for me, that I was asked to show up my id at the bar to make sure I am not under the age of 21. Old enough to have a drink! There yet again a santoor moment for me but extremely hilarious thinking that the silly guy thought of me couple of years younger (ahem) than I was.

  1. Lastly on Friday on morning I suddenly notice beinghuman following me on twitter, that meant Salman Khan following me. I am huge fan of the star, so jumping in joy, I was about to announce this news to the whole world on my blog, facebook and twitter account, just then I realise it’s not really the star but it just a fellow blogger called Sanjay Valliath.

Image: Sangrywords

So on that note I just realised that this blog has given me a wonderful way to put up life’s little moments. And growing up my favourite song then and even now is “Taking it easy” by Eagles. The past week was been somewhat like that taking it easy, with my house settled, silly things happening again to us and finding joy in life’s little moments. 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

White-tile Syndrome

Did you know about RAK Ceramics, a UAE based company worth approximately an eye popping USD 1 billion? Even I did not know of this until a saw a feature on CNN Middle-east. What is more surprising is that Ras Al Khaimah a relatively modest emirate compared to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, supplies it’s produce to almost the entire world. If this information alone was not enough to make me dazed they are also into production of tableware, serving a huge hospitality industry worldwide. Here’s more they are officially the world’s largest supplier in ceramics.

Nevertheless what reminded me of that wonderful documentary is really about the tiles in my newly rented apartment. I am sure they too are from RAK ceramics, it would really silly if it was imported from China, with largest producer of ceramics just right next emirate. The tiles in the bathroom and in the kitchen are sparkling white. For most people that would be a very exquisite look, but for me it’s causing me severe OCD issues.

Now confession time – I have a fixation or let’s say a mania to maintain a clean house, which sometimes slightly borders over to the insanity side when it’s dirty. This obsession is only to do with MY house, Even my mum’s house or in-laws place, I really do not mind, in fact I encourage them to not bother cleaning and instead spend time with me, I like that bit more. So do not panic, you will not be judged if I were visiting your place. I would rather give you a helping hand if only you ask for, else I will be happy to be at your place, and even more with some lovely food to eat.

Coming back to my problem with white tiles is that I cannot comb my hair in the bathroom as it natural for it fall and makes not so amazing patterns. I secretly wish that my husband would cling wrap himself just before entering the house. Let’s not even go over to the kitchen, my family including myself, we love to eat cereals, how can it be ever possible that even a little crumbles won’t fall on the floor.


Once vacuumed and mopped it does look stunningly impressive and what’s more, I must thank the guys at RAK ceramics and Emaar for letting me know how difficult it is to manage the white tiled floors (note to my self when we plan our own home). However with a little help from the hubby can help go a long way and I am almost certain that he will be reading I am leaving him notes for improvement:

  1. Take a cue from your daughter who removes her shoes once she enters the house.
  2. Since you feel extremely cold in the house, then let the house slippers be or house ONLY purpose and not for venturing out. 
  3. It would greatly help if you make use of this remarkable invention called the plate when you feel like eating you all time snack, the ever crumbling Wheatabix.
  4. And lastly, give some serious thought to the cling wrap idea which I suggested earlier.
 I know I am being mean but hey, it is Saturday and this download helps me to cope with the White Tile Syndrome. Also for anyone at RAK ceramics reading this should seize upon this feedback and start creating a camouflage variant of white tiles at once – believe you me it would be a best seller.  On that note I will leave you with a very impressive feature on RAK Ceramics on CNN

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