Thursday, December 17, 2015

Movie Review – Dilwale


My Rating: 3.5/5



For starters, I’m not a very big Shahrukh or Salman fan. I find them charismatic and somehow never get bored during their movies. Yet, I don’t go crazy when I hear about their upcoming movies.

So when Dilwale shows were more than Bajirao Mastani’s in Bahrain cinemas, I was just fascinated. It is not surprising though, the theatre was filled with Arabs who are major Shahrukh fans. They were clapping all along as well! I was more keen to see a king’s love story, but the Boy thought he would be more interested in a masala film.

He couldn’t be more right – Dilwale is a typical Bollywood masala movie. It has romance between the epic Shahrukh Khan and Kajol. They look as cute together as they looked 20 years back. The chemistry between Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan is fine – they are any way not as passionate as the former couple. However, all four actors look absolutely stunning in the movie.

Then there is drama – Meera’s (Kajol) father and Kaali’s (Khan) father are dons and like one can expect, rivals. Some confusion and the duo are separated only to meet later and then unite for a – spoiler alert – happy ending!

But then this is a masala movie, it will have a happy ending. Johnny Lever was the most hilarious, so was Sanjai Mishra. The songs, except Gherua, were passable. It is commendable how a 50-year old actor can still manage awesome romance in the songs. Gherua was spell-binding.

Overall you won’t get bored watching the action, drama, comedy and romance that this movie meticulously combines. It has been long since we had a good Bollywood movie sans a message – this might just be the one. King Khan – you have done it again!


Hopefully I will convince the Boy to watch Bajirao tomorrow. What is with boys and their aversion to a little bit of bling!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Restaurant Review - The Orangery, Adliya

The Boy and me, we try to cover at least one new restaurant every week. It is a tradition that started almost a year back and is being carried on. Sometimes we do a new thing if not a restaurant, anyway..

So this week, since the weather was so gorgeous, we thought of going to an outdoor place with some sunshine. I had read about this newplace very close to my house. I googled for it online and found it to be quite impressive.

The Orangery sits in the Palace Boutique Hotel in Adliya. If you check its page online, the first impression that you get is that the place is very British.

And it is not wrong. We parked our car in the vast area and headed inside. The lush green garden is a rarity in the middle of Adliya. I was impressed straightaway. We sat in one of the cane chairs and made ourselves comfortable.

The service was quite fast and we gave our order – a Syrian Frittata and a Saffron infused French Toast. I ordered an Iced Latte because the sun was shining on my face and the Boy ordered a Juice because there was no wine!

While we basked in the sunshine, we could hear the incessant chatter of the women around. We could not help but notice that most people in the restaurant were Arabic women who had come for some kind of a celebration. Maybe the restaurant needed a wee bit of publicity amongst the Expat community!

The Frittata was an absolute delight. I was sceptical earlier because it didn’t have any vegetables. But the herbs and labanah made up for it and I loved my breakfast.  We thought that the French toast was a little too sweet for our palate, but that’s just us. Our drinks were fine, nothing unusual, nothing disappointing!

We even walked in inside to check out the d├ęcor. The interiors are breathtaking with cutesy wallpaper done in tea-cup like prints. The furniture is in tune with the whole ambience and is pretty charming.

We paid 18 Bahraini Dinars and walked out quite satisfied. If you’re looking to celebrate this winter, I suggest you pay this impressive Orangery a visit. It is ideal for lazy winter mornings and afternoons. And I'll let you know how my dinner turns out in my next visit!


I promise to click more pictures next time!

Middle Eastern Frittata


The lovely Outdoors

Saturday, December 12, 2015

#madeofgreat Zonal War - Chandigarh rules!

I had heard about Chandigarh from many people. My father use to go on his business trips regularly and drive from one city to another in Punjab. Chandigarh was definitely his favorite.

Fortunately, my brother-in-law moved here in 2010 and since then, I have been visiting this city atleast twice a year. Not only that, now my in-laws live there as well and it may very well be our post retirement city!

So what makes this city so unique? If you know, it is amongst the most well-planned cities in the world. If you go to this city for the first time, you will easily be able to find your way even without a GPS.

Chandigarh is marked with sectors. Each sector is easily connected with another. Not only this, each sector has its own park and market. The roads are marked with lined trees. According to a study in 2010, Chandigarh is also the cleanest city in India.

Apart from the great planning of roads, sectors and amenities, what makes this city unique for a good drive and design is the disciplinary action of the policemen. You will find strict, turban-clad policemen at every roundabout hunting for offenders. Drivers make sure they wear seat-belts and stay in lane just because they know they are being monitored.

This Punjab and Haryana capital has one of the nicest roads without bumps and potholes. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is indeed the best city in India in terms of design and drive.

What makes it even more impressive is its connectivity with other northern cities. We or our family members have made trips to Shimla, Manali, Amritsar, Delhi, Panipat, Mussoorie, etc. with extreme comfort. The International Airport of Delhi is just 4 hours away connected with the most reliable highway. If you need a getaway from the humdrum of life, Manali, Shimla, Kasauli, Dharamshala, Dehradoon, et al. are just a few 100 kilometers away. Chandigarh is well connected by road by NH 22 (Ambala - Kalka - Shimla - Khab, Kinnaur) and NH 21 (Chandigarh - Manali). The connect is so simple and smooth that it undoubtedly makes Chandigarh a highly recommended base.

We visit the city as tourists but have made it our home with ease. Since everything is so clearly marked, there is no chance of getting lost. The smooth and green roads make our drive even more refreshing. And if we need to get out, we have many options as well.

Apart from good food and good humoured Punjabis, Chandigarh is indeed a beautiful city. I really wish we had more well-planned cities like this one. A lot of states can take cue and start planning. Like they say, it is never too late. Chandigarh may as well be a model city for our incredible India. 

A beautiful rainy day in Chandigarh

I am participating in the #madeofgreat Zonal wars on Indiblogger. Clearly North India rules!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nisha Punjabi - Why I hate it, Why I love it!


If you have reached this link looking for my biography for 'The Race', please email me on nisha(dot)punjabi(at)gmail(dot)com and I would revert ASAP.

Soumya of Life of Leo asked us the story of our name. While commenting I remembered that my name has an interesting angle to it which I have never mentioned here. Since this is the story of my life, Teeth that Sparkle should have a copy of it!

So I was born on 17th November 19something! The pandit ji made my janam kundali and took out the alphabet 'N'. I think he was the one who named me 'Neeta Devi'. Of course my folks didn't use the devi bit, but well, the story would have been funnier then!

Our landlady who lived upstairs had a daughter called Neetu. Somehow it confused the families when they called out our names. I was subsequently named Nisha for convenience! I have a second cousin by the same name who was born one month before me; I figure my unimaginative parents just stole that name!

Anyway, Nisha Punjabi stuck with me. It was one of a kind. In school, my second cousin was a teacher. Her sister was a headgirl one of the years. So I was famous belonging to a renowned clan. I was famous for other reasons as well, but that's not important.

When we were in class IX, Sunny Deol decided to do a lot of songs with the word 'Punjabi' in it. To my amusement, that year we had our classroom right above a dhobi's house. Now this dhobi needed entertainment while washing clothes. He played all Sunny Deol's numbers while the first period was on. I am sure I don't need to tell you the trauma I went through in a co-ed school while this happened!

So much so, the boys even wrote 'Punjab ka Tempo' behind my tempo. The driver was, guess what, a Sardar!

Oh yes, my life was amusing. While I was getting married, I was in a dilemma whether I should change my name or not. Since I had written quite a few poems and was also published in the local newspaper a number of times, I couldn't bear the thought of changing my name. So it just remained what it was. I wasn't a feminist then, I am not an extremist even now. This was just because I wanted my name to remain unchanged.

More than 'Punjabi', 'Nisha' has a more interesting story. I always hated my first name. I don't know why, it just didn't sound right. I even hate it when the Boy calls out my name. Yes, I am weird!

But do you know the best part about my name? I met the Boy 12.5 years ago on the Internet. Do you know how? Well, the Boy randomly messaged all the Nishas who were online on ICQ. He said he liked this name! I was the one who was most vela that night and responded to his 'friend request'. The rest, as they say, is a happily ever after tale.

What if I didn't have a landlady? What if they never changed it from Neeta? Imagine, they even moved abroad after a year. What if that cousin wasn't named Nisha? They say what's in a name? - apparently my life wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for my name!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Punjabi Takkar Marriage Diary #7


This is a story I have not told many people. Even I came to know a few years after my wedding day. It fills my heart with pride and my eyes with crystal clear tears! It is about the Boy and what a stand-up man he is.

So I was at the wedding venue at 7:30 pm. Like all Punjabi baraats, this was late as well. My day had been really normal – some Pooja, some haldi, getting my face painted with 25 other brides at the parlour, the works. Frankly, I wanted this day to end. Yes, it is unusual for a bride to say this, but for me, my wedding day was a terrifying event. I hate being the centre of attraction, and this was exactly how it was meant to be.

Over the years, I had never imagined being a bride. I had weird thoughts of settling down in a farm with my own field and animals. I even have a diary entry written in code language mentioning how I want to live my life! I had my childhood issues and not good ones at that.

When me and the Boy decided to get married, the only worrisome thought I had was the wedding day itself. I knew I could manage the rest, but this, this was nightmarish. And so I decided to remain as calm as possible and take one single moment at a time.

I’m proud of the fact that I did exactly that. When I was waiting for the baraat, I chit-chatted with all my friends and relatives. Someone or the other kept bringing me snacks and I kept hogging. I asked my cousin to check how high the stage was, since I had trouble climbing it. She went out and told me it looked fine. I took her word.

The Boy had his problems at home. The Delhi board decided to switch off their power and all their ceremonies were delayed. At last he made his horse run to reach the venue by 11:30 pm!

His other problem was his embroidered Sherwani - it kept hurting him on his neck and he just couldn’t bear the pain. I saw later and he had bad rashes. Anyway.

He and his bandwagon entered the wedding hall. I was still in the waiting room. Now this is the story my mom told me a few years later which reassured her that she was giving her daughter to the best man possible – as soon as the Boy entered, he called my mom and whispered in her ear that the stage looked too high for my comfort. My mother immediately called my brother and he arranged for a small step that would make the climb easy. Actually a tray covered with cloth because nothing else was available at that time.

My immediate family and best friends – all of them knew how difficult this was for me. Yet none of them could notice it in the few hours that they were there. The Boy, on his wedding day, with several things on his mind, noticed this the moment he entered.

When you know that someone cares about you this much, you can do anything for this person. You can love him and care for him more than you do for yourself. Love is not in the Rolex you buy as a surprise, it is about sharing the discomfort of your partner. For in that, true love and true character is revealed.

We are going to be 7 tomorrow, and I cannot thank God enough for the precious gift He has given me. God Bless you Sumit Takkar! I know I am annoying and irritating and dominating and weird, but the way you manage me and still love me is praiseworthy. You are a rare gem and together (I think!) we make a great team. Here’s to us – cheers!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Make a Change, Now.

How do you feel when you see floods in Chennai? What comes to your mind when you see mass murders in Paris? What happens to you when you hear about a missing plane in the Indian Ocean? What is your reaction when you hear that 20 crore people in our country sleep without having dinner?
 
I feel scared. I feel what if it happened to me? I find ways to do something better for the world. I feel grateful that God has not put me in a trying condition.

I try to write for the sake of humanity. I pray to God to lessen his fury. I use less plastic to decrease the effect of global warming...

When you read about history, you find that the world was and always has been a difficult place. We have had world wars. We have had wars for independence. We have had droughts, earthquakes. There have been train and plane crashes. Yet no history can lessen the effect or prepare us for what is happening today.

What we need to do is NOT spread negativity. We don’t need to go on twitter and start fighting with each other. We need to fight together. We need to fight climatic changes by changing our lifestyle. We need to inculcate values in our children so that they don’t turn into terrorists. We need to end these Hindu-Muslim differences. A lot in this world is against us – the least we can do is not turn against each other.

We never think it can happen to us until it does. We cannot live with an attitude of ‘If it has to happen, it will’. We need to be prepared. And more than that, we need to change.

The intolerance debate only indicates that we are increasingly becoming rigid. The floods tell us that nature is not happy with what we are doing with it. Spare a thought - what can you do?

And while you are at it, feed a mouth which might have not eaten for a while now. Recycle bags. Don't throw garbage on the street that can clog drains. Hug a friend from a different religion. Switch off that light. Don’t wait for others, make a change. Now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Organizing a Decade of Memories

December Resolution – Day 2

Remember the day you bought your first camera phone? Well, I just have a faint memory of it. I can’t remember if that phone had the ability to transfer photos to the computer. And because of that, I don’t have some of my most precious pictures.

My second phone came in December 2006. I clicked hundreds of pictures from that one and made videos as well. My Nokia N96 lasted for more than 3 years and I could back up everything on the laptop.

Since then I have changed 3 phones and have collected thousands of pictures. We don’t realize but we click numerous pictures of the same thing. At that moment it seems worthwhile, but do you want to keep it as a memory? Would you want to look through lakhs of pictures 10 years from now? Won’t some pictures be your favourite but you wouldn’t be able to find them since they will be lost in the pile of pictures you have? Same goes for videos.

So last week I took up the mammoth task of organizing my photos and videos. I made a folder with sub folders sorted by year. It was fun to see pictures that were 6 years old, the new ones were still fresh in my memory; sorting the gallery from 2008 was easier than sorting 2014!

I even saw all the videos and labelled them! If I need to find a video from my college days where me and my friends are dancing in the car – I can find it in a jiffy. I can find the video where I am singing on a date. It's a hard task to find a video when they all are marked by numbers and you need to open it and see what it is about.

I did find some hidden gems - some absolutely adorable videos of me and the Boy and my niece and nephews. I found a video from my first day in Bahrain (June 2009) where I was cribbing why there is no fan in the room! I found a video from Kuwait 2009 where we were talking about the city. I found my dancing videos. I found videos of the Boy and his friends totally sloshed and doing the weirdest things! Oh, it was fun. *note to self - make more videos*

This weekend, I encourage you to take out all your pictures and put them in a hard disk. Find ways to organise them. If you are like me, you would have a decade worth of precious memories hidden in different binaries of your laptop. It needs your attention. You would regret it later if you don’t organize it now.

Just do it, I say!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Resolutions

This year, I am making resolutions at the end. Or, how I like to put it, one month before the beginning of the next year.

It has been a weird year in many ways. I have questioned my existence much more than before. Maybe because I have had way too much free time. I wasn't writing and I wasn't concentrating on my health - the two things that I always prioritize. I ended up watching more TV, socialise and involve myself in stupid things rather than meaningful activities.

So December is my last chance to make 2015 count. I have decided to write every single day (except maybe weekends - Friday and Saturday). You will be swarmed with my incessant banter and sometimes, inherent wisdom. I will write poems and stories and anything that comes to my mind on a particular day. Imagine my laziness - I haven't even written trip reports this year. What the hell am I doing?

I have also kick-started my diet. Endless eating binges have increased my weight by 1.5 kgs which is way too much than what the doctor has recommended. Ideally I should be 10 kgs less than what I am now. Now if one more person tells me that I am thin and I don't need to lose any fat, I'll start with '10 years ago I met a renowned doctor...' - yes, I am done with secrecy regarding health and all that shit!

So peopless, watch this space to read my thoughts and help me do well. If I skip one day, please let me borrow a post :p

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Movie Review - Tamasha



You will read a lot of negative reviews – my facebook feed almost made me regret that we had already booked tickets for Friday evening. They are not all false. Yet, there is a lot in the movie which is likeable and would not disappoint you.

All of us wear masks. All of us are who we are not. All of us do some Tamasha. The movie explores a character whose life is probably a much bigger tamasha and how it affects his entire being. If you see a little bit of yourself in the story, which all of us will, you will love the movie. If you don’t, you might trash it like a lot of people.

I would say you need to get through the first thirty minutes for the movie to actually look good and make sense to you. For me, even the song Matargashti, which is introduced in the first 15 minutes, could not cover the boredom I was feeling. The first sequence in the movie doesn’t make sense, atleast in the beginning, and you tend to worry what is the fate of your next two hours!

But once Corsica ends, which had super-hot Deepika Padukone and even a hotter Ranbir Kapoor and beautiful locations, the real movie starts. You will realise that the movie is deep and meaningful and much more than a love story.

I don’t want to say anything about the story because the way it unfolds is actually interesting. The highlight of the movie is Ranbir’s acting – it is flawless. He made me admire his talent once again and the director, Imtiaz Ali's, ability to extract that talent out of him. The songs fit well into the movie. The pace is fast moving. I especially loved an emotional sequence between Ranbir and Deepika and also a scene between a particular story-teller and Ranbir - it all came out so beautifully.

I’ll give it 3.5 stars just because of the boring and difficult-to-understand first 30 minutes. I loved the movie otherwise.

Happy watching!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

13 things from 33rd birthday

1.Finally, I have accepted that I am over and above 30. Wisdom has taken over and I have realised that we should be grateful to God for a healthy, long life rather than sulking over the fact that we can’t party till 4 a.m. anymore

2.I deleted my birthday on Facebook to see how I feel when my virtual friends don’t wish me. But a birthday tag started a string of wishes and frankly, it felt better than FB telling you ‘It is Nisha’s birthday. Help her celebrate’!

3.The Boy bought me flowers on the birthday eve. It was the sweetest thing.

4.I planned my day to the T. So much so that I asked a friend a day before to go for lunch adding a gentle reminder at the end, that it was my birthday! She is unconsciously forgetful and I am very considerate!

5.Wishes poured in from everywhere. Every word made me smile.

6.I even danced to ‘Abhi to party shuru hui hai’ early in the morning.

7.New dress? – absolutely!

8.The Boy got me swanky sunglasses earlier in the year and a more swanky laptop 3 days after my birthday. I think I can’t ask for more gifts this year and can never say that he never gives me anything.

9.I went to breakfast with a bestie and had a ball.

10.I went to lunch with another bestie and heard her share secrets which now worry me.

11.I went to dinner with my ultimate bestie – the Boy – to the most swanky restaurant in town. (Now those are 3 swanky things in the post!!).

12.This birthday managed to have its own story – we went to this newly opened restaurant which is set on 50th floor in the centre of the city with the most amazing views. It serves authentic Asian which is not our favorite cuisine. So we went overboard and ordered the set menu so that atleast something would suit our taste buds. Within 30 minutes the smell from the kitchen made me feel nauseated. I had to leave the meal midway and walk out. This is the first time we spent so much money on a meal and this is the first time we left it like that. The dessert which the waitress packed for us tasted absolutely divine.

13.My most favorite wish came from an old bestie with whom I talk only 2-3 times in a year. She said that I am still her loveliest friend and best advisor. Another bestie wrote that I was her soul-mate and that she truly loves me.
It is so amazing that when you hear genuine comments from your closest people you feel life is worth every little thing that it is made of.


I am grateful to be 33 and to have gathered so much love in this short life. I am also grateful that I look so awesome in the pictures below!

Well, some things never change, do they?




Sunday, November 22, 2015

One from the New Laptop


Once upon a time when we were in school, a new subject was added in Standard VI - it was the very exciting and extremely difficult Computer. Our teacher came and explained ‘What is a computer’ to us. It was followed by history of computer, description of a CPU and then the much awaited practical class which started with LOGO.

We proceeded to BASIC and the C++ by XII standard. Frankly, unless we had an inclination to become a programmer, this all seemed worthless. At home, I was introduced to the world of Internet by a cousin who stayed next door. I didn’t have a desktop then, so I had to sneak into her room and go online.

Internet just meant chat rooms that time. We didn’t have much to study from the Web since its access was in limited homes. Within a year my parents got me a desktop as well and my world expanded virtually. I was 17 then and loved every bit of my new found toy.

I used this desktop till I got married. It was placed in, what we called, the computer room upstairs. My mother, poor thing, checked on me even at 2 in the night. No checks, however, could stop me from doing what I was doing. I was a tad spoilt in this area. And well, if I wasn’t, how would have I found my life partner!

After we got married and I was at a new home, I needed a laptop for writing. So we hired a taxi for a few hours and went to four stores to check various laptops. I still remember that evening because it was so exciting! We wanted to find the best value for money laptop. We eventually bought a Sony Vaio and was extremely satisfied with it.

It has been more than 6 years to that purchase. Our laptop just went blank once which was sorted by formatting. Starting over solves all the problems in these devices, doesn’t it? I use to hit my CPU very hard whenever it troubled me and it always started working fine after a couple of slaps!

Anyway, now the Vaio was getting old – it was a core duo, windows vista and the works. The exterior had started to break as well. So we decided at the beginning of the year that we would purchase a good one soon. Our search had started months back. The sale started a month back and we went from store to store in our own car.

Life has changed. We could now look for the best specifications and the best models. We could even afford an iMac. But since we are against all fads, we wanted to choose what we liked best. Sooo, here I am, typing on my new Lenovo Yoga 3 Z 14. It’s a sleek, fast and extremely sexy device which would see my life change in the course of next 5 years atleast.

That’s how I see my previous laptop as well. It saw me as a new bride. We were inseparable in hotel apartments when the Boy was out on consulting assignments. It saw me blog. It has various documents titled book ideas! It made me win prizes. It helped me discover various countries and make varied itineraries. Frankly, my laptop has seen me laugh, cry, bored and happy - just like a best friend would.

I’ll be giving this to my maid’s son who is 14 with a hope that it helps him in his education and give him the same memories it gave me. Funny how a laptop can have such significance in your life! It definitely had the biggest hand in keeping me sane all through these years.


Dear Lenovo, please be kind like your older step-sibling!

New is Silver, Old is Gold! Just metaphorically though!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shaken Faith


We change our display pictures
We share our worry
We all have an opinion
We’re all full of rage and fury.
They are destroying our peace
We are showing no mercy
We are bombing their camps
They are targeting our country..

Where does it end?
When did it even begin?
We were born to love
Isn’t killing a sin?
Is it for money? Is it for power?
I look for reasons within
When bodies are laid on the ground
I don’t know how they will call it a win.
 


That dead body could have been me
How could anyone have foreseen.
If we could all shed our differences
What a beautiful world it could have been.
If there is a God
He needs to intervene
I pray for all our fellow humans
With a shaken faith in between.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Art of Playing Scrabble

Believe it or not, I like nerdy games. I have never downloaded Candy Crush or Temple Run game or anything that doesn’t need my brains to explode. I unwind by doing word searches!

Oh man, I feel so proud of that. You see, when you are the CEO of a household a.k.a. a housewife, you need all sorts of encouragement that you are no less than that Statistical Data Analysis person (Read: Chandler). And when you beat great minds in a game of words, your confidence reaches great heights.

Now I play scrabble like I am going to war. It began with a friend who use to cheat a lot. So I started to cheat as well. You know, when in Rome thing. Then it got really boring because we were making words like 'Mesoderm' which didn’t make any sense to my tiny brain with a minuscule vocabulary. Without explaining to each other, we quit.

Next was my dear husband. Now you know what position they are usually in. Even if they have the strongest horse and the sharpest weapon, they would hang their head in the battle-field if their wife was the opponent, because if they didn’t, God save them in real life.

But you see, my Boy is made of a different breed. He takes pleasure in being hit on his head and seeing me pout and sulk. In the process, he made me strong and smart. There have been times when he has been on a winning streak and seen the worst in me. But there have been equal number of times when I have thrown his IIT-IIM degree on his face and used statements like 'How’s that, sucker!?'.

To give my ego another boost, I started playing with a bestie who is a big journalist at Economic Times. I am proud to tell you my dear readers that she is now on sob-mode because she has lost all three games she has played with me. She even gave a virtual slap to the Boy when he commented 'Badi aayi journalist'! Oh yes, birds of feather, swear together!

That is not all. Since people I know don’t want to play with me anymore, I started using the random opponent ‘Smart Search’ option. Words with Friends Application tried its best. Most opponents I got had better records than me. However, since yesterday, three of them have resigned because they couldn’t keep up with me. And this last guy, I think he will quit today because I am a 100 ahead of him even though he has won 1950 games more than me. 


Yes, I don’t blow my own trumpet without proof. I think I need to play with a Harvard person now to get back to earth. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Saturday Biryani Party

The title of this post might make you think I am posting about a social gathering that I probably went to over the weekend. Well, you may be correct but only partly. This Saturday Biryani Party with Construction workers is special; I'll tell you why:

A few weeks back I came across a Facebook page by the same name. Out of curiosity I clicked on it and was hugely impressed. A certain man called Mr. Abbas Khan living in Bahrain had started this initiative a few weeks earlier. He would collect Biryani meals from a restaurant, add some salad and chutney (that's how it is meant to be eaten), pick a juice or a cola and go to construction sites.

Now these construction sites in Bahrain have labourers from different countries. Men come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Ghana, Uganda and other countries where it is easy to find cheap labour. Most men earn anything between 50 to 90 Bahraini Dinars. With the going exchange rate of 1 BHD = 175 INR that roughly translates to 13000 to 16000 Indian Rupees. These men sometimes have to pay for their own accommodation. Their meals are entirely their own responsibility. So that doesn't leave much in their hands to save and send home - the reason they are here for - to collect as much as possible for their families who live back home.

Not only this, the unbearable heat of the Middle Eastern sun is what they struggle with each and every day. We do have winters, but they are combined with high velocity winds and sand storms. Good weather lasts much less than the bad, and so, we feel badly for these people who live here alone, away from their families living on paltry income.

Mr. Abbas started visiting the sites with his family members and a few friends. People around him liked the initiative and started supporting him by helping him with funds. What started as a family event has now united a lot of people in the country who help him out by accompanying him to the sites and donating a part of their income.

Last month was very busy for us and we kept postponing our visit. This Saturday, however, we were not going to let anything come in between our trip! We messaged Mr. Abbas that we will be joining his 'party'. His usual trips start at around 10 or 11 a.m. and last for maximum 2 hours. We went out for breakfast and then headed to the meeting point. Something had kept us away from this - the first week we thought of going, my friend was hospitalised. The week after that I was staying with her in the hospital. And then, we had to go for our vacation. We were quite eager after 5 weeks of postponing, but we were stuck in an unusual traffic jam and thought we won't be able to make it in time! Talk about roadblocks when you want to do something good!

We reached just in time to see Abbas and his troop ready for delivery. I was impressed to see how punctual they all were. We introduced ourselves. The crew members were from France, South Africa, Australia, India and Pakistan. Lots of kids joined us too. Since it was our first time, we asked if we could accompany an older member in his car. Mr. Hasan readily agreed and we joined him. Actually it was a good thing - Hasan seemingly had been co-ordinating with Abbas since a long time and told us about the whole initiative. He told us how they resource food, their costs, the way they try to find funds, etc.

We went to our first site where we distributed food to 180 workers. The moment we entered the site, I saw so many happy faces! Apparently the SBP had been visiting this site since four weeks now and so they were kind of waiting for us. We were handed over our distribution items and the workers formed a queue within seconds! I think it must have taken us hardly 10 to 15 minutes to distribute food to so many. Everything was so well-organized.

After that we went to three other smaller sites where there were 10-40 workers. Over-all we distributed 300 packets of chicken biryani, chutney, salad, water and juice. It was indeed an over-whelming experience that filled me with pride that I am able to bring a smile to the faces of people who are probably struggling a lot in these conditions.

The crew took a lot of pictures that they share on their Facebook Page every week. I tried to invite a few friends to their page - what they do about it is completely upto them. I hope we can keep going regularly to the weekly event because it really does feel good to go. I'll leave you with these pictures. If you are reading this and you live in Bahrain, do like their page. It is a rare and impressive charitable initiative in Bahrain to help the labourers. If you wish to join the party, call Abbas on +97339874541 or email him at: absclix@gmail.com. You can even leave a comment here and I'll guide you through the rest! 

Biryanis ready to be devoured!





The crew that day


Have a great weekend, just like these labourers just did!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Week That Was

Friday: The Boy had an office brunch planned with his team-mates and their families. In the last four years of him being with this Bank, this had never happened. We were all excited and looking forward to this. The over-priced brunch with unlimited food and drinks had only one amusing aspect – the Indian magician. We smiled, we laughed and even wrote him a recommendation in the review page. Just that it wasn’t so much fun; we were only trying to get our money’s worth by enjoying everything that was being served!

Saturday: We went shopping for the upcoming trip. Listen to this: we sold our previous car to a person who was driving a 15-year old car before that. He works with this group that manages stores like Zara and Mango. This guy, through no persuasion of ours, offered us his 35 percent discount card! Decent people that we are, we’ve asked him to come twice in the last 15 months and he has been so generous and kind. I can’t tell you how happy he makes me!!

We also went to my close friend’s new villa. She use to live one floor above mine before I moved a mile away from her. After 4 years, she has now moved at a bigger house which is miles away and it is quite disheartening. The villa is gorgeous but that doesn’t make it easy for me to visit her. Damn these changes.

Sunday: I thought I’d start packing! Ha, who I was kidding! I lazed around on the sofa all day and loved everything about it!

Monday: We went to the close friend’s house again. She sent us emotionally black-mailing messages. Since we just love to meet, I mocked at her message and went any way. It takes more than 30 minutes to reach her place and costs a bomb. Oh, I don’t know when I will stop cribbing about that.

Tuesday: A friend invited me for lunch. I just love it when someone else cooks for me! Being a housewife, you tend to get bored with your own haath ka khaana. It is a respite when someone else makes the effort of inviting you over. Now I have met this girl a lot of times socially and also as couples with our respected spouses. This was the first time we were meeting alone. I opened my heart to her and it felt great. It makes me comfortable to know that the person I am interacting with knows a few things that are very close to my heart and I don’t have to pretend. Ofcourse I don’t open up to every Sally, but once I call someone a friend, she needs to know who I am before I can really talk.

‘Who I am?’ sounds like a celebrity line, doesn’t it?

Wednesday: I thought I’d pack, ha, who I was kidding again! The only smart thing I did was cooked lots of food so that I wouldn’t have to enter the kitchen on Thursday.

The other smart thing I did was that I downloaded a lot of videos for long, boring journeys. Cheap air tickets should give us a to-do list as well; and they should hire me to make that. 

Thursday: I thought it would be a busy day, turns out, not so much. I cleared the kitchen in the first hour of waking up. And packed the suitcase in the second. Oh ya, I am a pro by now!

The rest of the day has been spent in calling home, and counting my blessings. I can’t wait to get on that plane now. Our last long trip was in 2013. Since then our trips have been no more than 9 days. I am looking forward to rolling on the green grass, inhaling the smell of trees, eating desserts, strolling around beautiful cities with nothing on my mind, kissing the Boy out in the open, panicking over getting on a train, irritating the Boy with my plans and then missing things on my itinerary, clicking a thousand pictures, and most of all, making a million memories.

See you on the other side of possibly the best holiday ever. *

*I tend to get overwhelmed by each new destination and somehow feel that it is indeed the best ever. I also keep praying that insanity prevails and my enthusiasm remains the same forever. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

It's September!

It seems I've been away from the blogging world for quite some time now. As they say, life took over and I could not find time to talk about it here.

The last post I wrote was about a dear friend's baby shower. As much fun we had on that particular day, it was in no way compensatory for the trauma that followed. 'A' had a doctor's appointment on the very next day and was asked to go the emergency room. It was her 30th week (most pregnancies last 40-42 weeks), and we were not expecting this.

Since no private hospital here in Bahrain takes a case before 34, she had to be taken to a government hospital. Even though the facilities there are the best in the country, not knowing any doctor in such a critical situation was nightmarish. After keeping her under observation for 2 days, they decided to do a c-section. The babies were born and taken directly to the incubator where they would live for a few weeks till they are ready to face the real world. The mother, initially shocked, worried, emotionally a wreck, is now doing ok and is all set to take care of the babies. Oh, she had twin angels, by the way!

Between the home and the hospital, our lives as close friends got very busy as well. When you live outside your own country, you are hugely dependent on friends for support. While one was constantly in touch with the friend's mother back home so that she can make the perfect food for the new mom, I tried to be the emotional support at the hospital. This government hospital in an Islamic country doesn't allow men to stay over-night in a private ward. For the first time in my life, I stayed in the hospital for over three nights and fared decent!

Now all we want is for the babies to become stronger and come home. In a few months, they would become so adorable and cuddly!

The other thing that is now keeping me busy is another holiday. Oh yes, every one we tell this to goes green with jealousy and cannot understand how we manage to do it all. Well, some people have kids, some people have work, and some people dream to travel the world. Obviously, we are doing the third one and refuse to be judged on that.

We leave this Thursday for a fortnight. This time we would be touring Amsterdam, Brugges, the Black Forest in Germany and Munich for Oktoberfest. This holiday was planned in December last year and a lot of it is from the bucket list. Also, we got a three-year Schenghen visa this year, so be prepared to see a lot of Europe on my site. Frankly, I don't think the whole world compares to this beautiful continent. So even if we go there over and over again, I wouldn't mind it at all!

I've not even completed my last holiday's trip report. Hopefully the memories of the new one wouldn't blur the last. Hopefully that wouldn't be the case ever. Isn't that the reason we travel - to make new memories that last a lifetime?

Prost! (That's 'cheers' in German - the only word I remember so far because it is going to be used a lot during the beer festival!!!)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Baby Shower for the Sweetest one!

I had heard that you can make best friends only in school/college. However, I would like to tell the world that if you have your heart in the right place, you can and you will find them at every stage of your life.

And so I met A when I got married and moved to Bahrain. Although our personalities are poles apart, we connect at so many other levels and love each other to the core. She understands me extremely well and I try my best to do the same. She's loving, caring and certainly the sweetest person you will ever meet. Special people like her need to be treated in an equally special way and so, we planned a baby shower at my place for her this weekend. Here is a poem from that (Oh, I tend to write poems for my close friends on their special occasions!) and a few pictures:

The bestest girl in the whole world is going to have twins,
Double the love, double the joy and multiply by two grins!


She met the daddy at a wedding some 12 years ago,
Love blossomed, rings were exchanged and now they are the sweetest couple we know.


The excess of 'Luv' in their home needed another angel,
God blessed, sent His favorite two, and added to their stable!


We think these babies will inherit the good looks and definitely be hard workers,
Very lovable, absolutely charming and definitely be high 'performers'!


Lots of love to the mommy and daddy to be - they deserve the very best
And thank them for the babies too, like them we also feel blessed!


Photo Booth!

Wishes in Poetry

Our favourite part of the decoration

It's a Baby Shower!

Wish her and her babies lots of love and good health!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Trip Report - Aiya Napa, Cyprus

There are a lot of people out there who have not heard of Cyprus. I don’t blame them – it is a tiny island, not marketed like Seychelles and comes lower in the ranking from its neighbours - Greece and Turkey. Since I have been to both (Greece and Turkey), I can safely tell you that the beaches in Cyprus are way better.

Obviously a few people will disagree with me since I have not seen ALL beaches in those two countries. But what I can tell you from what I have seen – you will get more value from what you see in Cyprus than what you will see elsewhere.

Crystal, CRYSTAL clear water

We decided to take a short trip to this island this Eid. I had read that July and August are the busiest months in the country and also the best time to visit the beaches. Since our visit to Greece, particularly Mykonos, was in the off-season and hence a total let-down, we thought it was better to go when there are crowds.

Frankly, I had no expectations. We have a couple of friends who have been there and told us it was ‘nice’. No pictures, no details, just nice! This was an indication that they did not really enjoy their holiday but did not want to discourage us either since everyone perceives a place in his or her own way. Anyway, we still went because we wanted to and took a direct flight which was just 3.5 hours and it was the fastest since I was lost in a book (To Kill a Mockingbird – awesome it is.).


Wine, poetry and a book on a plane to a new destination -
Life can be absolutely perfect sometimes!

Before I tell you about our visit, let me tell you a little about the country. Cyprus is around 9000 kilometre square in area. The west is known for Greek Mythology. The east is known for its lovely, sandy beaches. The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia which is located in the centre of the country and is also the last divided capital in the world.
By divided I mean that Northern Cyprus was occupied by Turkey in the 1970’s and still is out of bounds for Greek Cypriots. They need a passport to enter the region, just like any other person. It is sort of another country within the same country. While you drive around Cyprus, you can see the divisions. There are a lot of checkpoints throughout the region where there are proper immigration counters. Oh yes, it is complicated and I feel very bad for them. It is hard to take sides without knowing the entire history, but whatever it is,  it is horrible to be divided like this.

Anyway, the main area for tourists are Paphos in the west, Limassol and Troodos mountains in the centre, Larnaca, Aiya Napa and Protaras in the east. We chose Aiya Napa and Protaras for our 7-day trip since I read that these two towns had the best beaches. The weather was in 30’s during the day -  we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!


On day one we just hung around the harbour and the restaurant street in Aiya Napa. It was long and full of people. I was amazed to see how girls and boys just wore beachwear even on the roads! Yes, girls in bikinis and boys in just their swimming shorts. Although it is not rare, but I have not seen any beach destination where clothes were scarce even far away from the beach! It was a treat for the Boy nevertheless and I sulked on having a bigger body than most of the girls!

A walk near the harbour
Day two was a Sunday. I had read that the most famous beach in Aiya Napa was Nissi beach and they have foam parties on that day. So we had breakfast, took another nap, caught a bus and went to Nissi at around 2. Yes, we were lazy. But Cyprus is a lazy destination where you can start late and end late - just ideal for a holiday!

We went to the far west corner of Nissi because I had seen pictures from the party (yes, planning helps! Otherwise we would have been in a dead corner!). The bar was buzzing and there was not a single sun lounger. The Boy wanted to quit and just take a chair. But I was patient and pleaded him to wait. We found our beds in ten minutes.

Now Nissi beach is by far the best beach I have ever been to in my life. I have seen beaches in Goa (India), San Diego (U.S.A), Oludeniz (Turkey), Nice (France) and Mykonos (Greece). All these places had great beaches but always lacked something or the other. Nissi beach had everything – Clean water, shallow sea (you could walk over a 100 meter without having to swim), had the softest sand, an entertaining bar and very friendly but decent crowd. The sea had little or no waves which is exactly how I like it.

From a sun lounger at Nissi Beach

After swimming/walking(!) in the water for 2 hours, we went to the foam party. They had this huge shower from which they were pouring foam. Fifteen minutes of foam was followed by fifteen minutes of water. Everyone was decent enough to let others have a chance under the water. The foam wasn’t even slippery and it was great fun to be in it and watch others when you weren’t directly under it. Oh boy, it was one interesting party! So much so that we went there on Day 6 as well since there was another foam party then!


Foam Party at Nissi Beach Bar
When I say July and August are the busiest in Cyprus I mean it is the peak party season. Since schools and colleges are closed in Europe and U.S.A, a lot of people throng the area to enjoy the summer. Aiya Napa is clearly the capital for late teens and people in their early 20’s. Apart from a gorgeous beach, they have a street dedicated to club goers and bar hoppers. At first that street was intimidating – there was blaring music from each venue trying to out-do the sound from the other. There were hundreds of people on the street and then there were marketers trying to lure you into their establishment. Since we thought this street was clearly not for people like us (30’s is OLD for Aiya Napa!), we just wandered around and did some people watching.
Touristy picture!

The start of a very long stretch of bars, clubs and pubs.
It was another world. I don’t know if I am over-reacting, but I haven’t seen mad clubbing like I saw in Aiya Napa. Friends tell me Ibiza is similar, only for all ages. But if you happen to go to Aiya Napa in July/August, you would see a unique place in this universe. And I wouldn’t go if I had teenage kids – it’s a little scary out there to watch young men and women trying to be grown-ups…


On Day three we went to Makronissos beach - or atleast we thought we did. The thing about doing a trip on your own on public transport is that you can easily get lost. We got off at a bus stop and followed signs to this beach which was stated to be the best in Cyprus. The marketing guys got us and we headed to an isolated beach where they had a bar and a huge party area. Since we had walked over a kilometer in scorching summer heat, we thought of staying there and not finding the real thing. I wish we could because this area was nothing like what I had read online. It was not bad, but it wasn't the best in Cyprus!Well, adventures make us smarter, don't they?

Beautiful Water

When you don't know what else to do - click pictures!

After two days of sun, sand and beer, we thought it was a good idea to step outside of Aiya Napa and see other areas of Cyprus...

Coming up next - Our trip to Larnaca, Troodos, Nicosia and 3-days in Protaras! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Eid Break

I did not know I liked traveling till I started doing so. As kids we traveled to Nainital and Mussourie and that was it. When I was an adult, I had a fortune of having a cousin getting married in Dubai, so we visited her place. When I was 23, my uncle decided to be brave and take all his nieces for a trip to the Far East. We had fun; I am sure he did NOT!

When we were getting married, the Boy's job was a tad uncertain. He was so worried about everything that we didn't even plan a honeymoon. A wise person told me that no matter what, you must go on a honeymoon. And so, I persuaded the Boy to atleast buy the tickets. Eventually we did manage to go with just our tickets in our hands and still Goa was perfect.

We were in India back then. Within 2 months of our wedding, we moved to Bahrain. This was a whole new experience for me. I was awe-struck with every aspect of a foreign country. Even though I had visited a few before, living in one was a totally new thing. For the first one year while we were discovering each other we ended up discovering the place as well!

Not only that, we went to Qatar and Kuwait in the process. The Boy worked in a consulting firm and his job required him to travel. He made sure he was given an extra ticket for my visit as well! I learnt how to live in hotel apartments and cook on one electric stove.

Our second holiday was to Ladakh. We initially thought of going to Kashmir but they had security concerns that time. And so, just on a whim, we went to Leh. It was a beautiful place but both me and the Boy had health problems there. When they say it is not for everyone, they are not lying.

Another trip to Dubai with free accommodation at the dear cousin’s place was made that year. Since this time I was with the Boy, the trip was more awesome. Very soon he changed his job and our travel map widened. He had more leaves and we had a little extra money to cover foreign locations.

Our first real trip abroad was France and Switzerland. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed that vacation. I think Europe is really God’s favorite child and He has showered all his blessings on that land. I loved Paris and Nice so much that I wish to spend half our old age there!!

We’ve been to Turkey, U.S.A., Austria, Greece, and Bangladesh after that. Every vacation has been like a dream that I wish never ended. The moment I enter a town I fear that time will fly very soon and I will have to go back home. But it is that fear that makes me love every moment of my journey and motivates me to do everything in my power to embark on the next one. Silly how we constantly need motivation to take life that way.

I’ve been reading tales of people who quit their jobs for the love of traveling. I am not sure how anyone can do that because it can really put your entire future in danger. I, too, believe in living life to the fullest but that doesn’t mean we should shun all responsibilities and go on a world tour!

Anyway, the grapes are sour this side. If I did have the money and security, I would spend all my life in different corners of the world! But since we are normal people with normal amount of security and money, we are just taking a small vacation. I’ll see you on the other side of this week when I come back from Cyprus. Wish me happiness!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Punjabi Takkar Dating Diary - Entry #8754

Like I’ve mentioned a few times before, I lived a comfortable life in my parent’s home for the first 26 years of my life. I did my schooling, graduation and then MBA from the city of Nawabs and lived like a princess! I was fortunate enough to be born in a well-to-do family and always had the luxury of a driver or my own car to move around. Life was easy and thankfully, still is.

Even then, my parents always taught me how to value money. I was given a meager pocket money and had to bear all my expenses through it. I was given Rs. 5000 a month to spend on my outings, do any shopping if needed, recharge my cell phone and refuel the car. My college was really far so most of the money was spent on petrol.

There was a time when the Boy had gone for a student exchange program to France for three months. The call rates were really high and had to be borne by me since he had already spent a lot of money in traveling abroad. I remember keeping the windows of my car open just so the vehicle will give a higher mileage and I will be able to buy extra recharge for my cell phone!

I was so afraid of being caught by my family that I was dating this guy that I used to get this recharge from several places. I was afraid that the recharge wala uncle will call my parents and let them know! Oh boy, I was scared of my family knowing!

We always dated at the most discreet of places. There was this restaurant at a remote location where none of my family members, friends or relatives could ever come. The location also suited the Boy because his college bus had a stop near-by and he could easily come there. The chicken biryani was modestly priced at Rs. 70 and made for the most sumptuous meal. We were students and living a cheap life!

I started writing this post because I wanted to tell about one particular incident which involved money. Since my father is a businessman, he hardly ever uses any debit/credit card, whereas the Boy and his family don’t use any cash. One time the Boy had to withdraw some money. The ATM was located right outside his college gate and so we stopped there for a bit. My eyes shone when I saw money coming out of a machine – it was such a new and exciting experience for me! The Boy started laughing and still reminds me of the incident. What’s more, I still have the receipt from my first time ever at the ATM!

I am still a princess though who uses the husband’s credit card and asks him to withdraw money whenever I have the need. I am still careful with money whenever we need to save. I still splurge on priorities and compromise on luxuries if I have to. I am grateful to God that He has given us enough, but I am more grateful that He has taught me to value my privileges.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Checking-in

Blah. That’s what I’ve been feeling since a few days, or should I say, weeks. There is so much happening in my real life that online life has taken a back seat. Now, ofcourse, I am no Salman Khan busy with promotions of loser of a movie called Bajrangi Bhaijaan, nor I am Mr. Modi aiming for 65 before 65 (countries, ofcourse), but I am a lazy housewife with, mind you, plenty to do!

So I fired a temporary housemaid because I felt she hated her job and was giving me an awful lot of stress. Firing is no easy task - I had to mince my words, be as kind as possible, and keep my mouth shut about the fact that she sucked. I didn’t want to do anything to her self-esteem, so I just lied and said I am going on a vacation.

Now this wasn’t a complete lie. I am indeed going for a vacation albeit for a week. There will be sun and sand and a whole lot of other stuff which would keep us happy for seven whole days in Cyprus. It’s an exotic destination. But then what do you do if you have already covered a lot of the famous ones. Ahem! No, no, I am not bragging. We just want to cover like 40 countries before we turn 40 and we have our list ready. Although Cyprus wasn’t a part of it, we made the list after we booked our vacation. So. Anyway. A vacation is a vacation is a vacation. I am EXCITED!!

Every time we go on a holiday we try to shed some weight before boarding that plane. This is just to stay fit and make sure that we eat to our hearts content while we are in a foreign land. These days our schedule runs tight. I do atleast one and a half hours of exercise. Now that needs a lot of rest in between for my amazingly feeble body. So, after finishing the daily chores and doing that workout, I chill the rest of the day! Ha! See I have a very valid excuse!!

And then we’ve been eating yummy salads to shed some more kgs. I’ve started making a delicious chicken salad that I actually crave for in the evenings. Whoever said that diet food was boring didn’t try searching the internet for recipes, and didn’t love his body. If you think you’re being cool by being a foodie, you also need to be health conscious to survive being one. I love food, but I love myself more. I wish people had a similar mantra.

Oh ya, this lecture will get over as soon as we are on the island of Cyprus! But that’s only for a week na, and we are prepared!

I also had a social anxiety disorder lately. After having a couple of glasses of wine, people change apparently. I did too. I became aggressive in my debates which I regretted the next morning. And since I hate confrontations so much, I don’t know how I will ever rectify my behaviour.

I could have had an altercation with a Muslim friend as well on the whole Gay marriage thing. But sanity prevailed and I didn’t say anything. I would rant here ofcourse. That deserves a whole post and post I shall.

Hope I keep reading and writing. I just like to read non-fiction and so I am reading blogs of prostitutes these days. They are very interesting to say the least. Google and hop onto one!

Much love!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bahrain Diaries - Liquor Shopping before Ramadan

This weekend was crucial as Ramadan starts on Thursday, 18th June, and we needed to stock up on liquor! Bahrain is a fairly liberal country where alcohol is served in licensed restaurants/lounge/pubs and hotel bars. We also have stores around the city to shop for hard drinks. It is only during the holy month of Ramadan that alcohol is NOT served in restaurants or sold in outlets in the city.

We basically know of two two big stores - BMMI and Gulf Brands. Since we live in an area called Juffair, we usually shop at the Gulf Brands International retail outlet located near the Gulf Hotel in Adliya. This weekend, to do our new thing, we visited the BMMI store in Mina Salman. (Not lame at all!!!! To find a new thing to do/place to visit in a small place of some 700 square km is hard!)

Since it was the last day before Ramadan, there were quite a few offers going on. The store seemed like it had just been robbed! Shelves were empty and cartons were lying around; basically the thirsty, expat community had grabbed all that they could so that they don't have withdrawal symptoms during the next one month. Also, since restaurants don't open till iftar/around 6 in the evening during this month, weekends are fairly bland. So to spice up our lives, we have house parties in the afternoons where we need to entertain guests with booze considering the fact that it is a luxury. Things taste better when they are prohibited, right?

Anyway, we bought a few cans of beer since we had everything stocked up from before. I don't know whether is was 'vandalism' or it was actually like that, we thought the Gulf Brands store is much better with more variety and a larger stock.

I wanted to click pictures with people pushing their trolleys and loading the trunk of their cars, but it just seemed too much. Hopefully I will use my phone's camera a little more from next time and give you a sneak peak into our weekends and also into our beautiful country that we call home - Bahrain.

P.S. If you landed here searching for liquor in Bahrain during Ramadan, I can suggest three places where you can check -

Country Club, Budaiya
Bahrain Rugby and Football Club, Saar
Royal Golf Club, Riffa.

It would be best to call these places and check before heading there. Also, if you are arriving in Bahrain from another country, the Duty Free at the arrivals section also sells alcohol to non-muslims during this month.