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.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Poultry Pictures

Pout. Arm Triangle. Tummy in. Leg swirl. Chin up.

The above are few of the many ways in which you can pose if you are using your 5 megapixel, smart phone camera to capture your every move in every place – the washroom of a swanky restaurant topping the list. The phenomena of taking a perfect picture which apparently looks absolutely identical to the last one, thanks to the use of a certain teapot pose, has been around for some time. You might have found your perfect pose (mine is a left angle, by the way), but there is always something new to learn.

The purpose of this post is to let you know how I absolutely abhor the chicken wing and the duck face. Every single day I see atleast one picture on my timeline which screams ‘I’m Angelina’ at the top of its voice. Apparently the subject thinks that bigger lips and thinner arms can genetically change an ugly face, more so because it doesn’t smile, it pouts.

I mean, whatever happened to giggling and saying cheese or like my husband likes to call it – the shaadi pose! You stand next to each other, wrap your arms around and smile. If you’re having a good time, the giggle will show. What will you know from looking like poultry? Moreover, when you are in the year 2030 and they are looking at your pictures, how will you explain your aquatic existence? My mum still has a hard time explaining the high pants, giant buns and gangster shades.

I am not saying I have never done it. What I’m saying is whenever I have done it, I have deleted it. The only other time I had my arms on the waist was when the husband walked with his dirty shoes on a wet floor creating marks on a clean surface. Although his pose was perfect for a picture – hands on ears and chin touching the neck.

It is so insanely weird to act like a celeb when you aren’t one. I would be fine if you were called Kareena Kapoor or Katrina Kaif. But if you are a regular Neha and Priya, you really need a reality check and a natural smile.

To add to it, the trend is to take candid pictures in a wedding. You no more have cameramen standing in front of the stage clicking pictures with your mom’s aunt’s pervert son’s father-in-law. Rather, he moves around the hall and clicks random pictures with genuine smiles.

This opposite style of capturing moments is very confusing. When you’re creating your wedding album, you pose looking at each other’s eyes trying to fool the world saying that it was a candid click. You try to show the world that everyone had a gala time at your party. But as soon as you go for your honeymoon, you quack and cock-a-doodle-do, collaging fowl imagery. Thankfully the husband is on the other side of the camera because otherwise his duck face would be much harder to explain to any children created during or after the holiday.

The only time I forgive girls with such a pose is when they are 16 and have problems that only they can understand. When a 32 year-old makes a sassy arm triangle, she loses my respect. And the pleasure of posing next to my awesome, natural smile which comes out perfect without trying to ape anyone in particular. 

You may say the grapes are sour: in one such picture with people (read: girls, women) from all age groups, I had my hand much below the waist. What would they have thought – I had no clue about the angles? I, on the other hand, feel ignorance is bliss and chicken wings are tastier when on my lips and not on my hips.
Same line, multiple meanings.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Back, but no bang!

Now this must be the longest I have been away from reading and writing on Blogosphere. I feel horrible to say the least.

I mean, a lazy trip back home is no excuse not to jot down the million thoughts that go on in your mind. Really, everything amazing you do and see starts a series of thoughts in your mind that you want to pen down here. What is it with us bloggers, huh?

Like when I went to Lucknow this time - we visited this beautiful, beautiful park that I had surprisingly missed in the last two years. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the park was unmistakably clean, and the greenery was to-die-for. I have seen a lotttt of parks in my life, but I think this is my favorite now. All I wanted to do after visiting it was write a review on my blog! It is called Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Park and is located in Gomti Nagar. After you are done with eating Tunde Kebab and shopping for Chikan Kurtas in my city of Nawabs, do check this little piece of paradise whenever you visit.

My least favorite thing about traveling is flying. Every time something or the other happens that leaves a bad memory in my head. This time was no different. While taking a flight from Delhi to Bahrain, I encountered this rude gentleman at the check-in counter. When I told him I cannot lift my suitcase and that he should call someone to help, he gave me a wicked smirk saying that there was no one around. I told him I will try to lift but I am not sure if I will succeed. Even though he saw me struggling, he didn't have the decency to get up and help. I guess Air India deserves all the flak it gets. Their staff needs to learn from a lot of other airlines that I have taken in the past and have never once faced a similar issue.

Anyhoo, you see, you learn, you grow; that is what my 3-year old nephew is doing these days. He's a boy with an attitude problem who wouldn't smile even if you tried your best. So these days, my mom - his grand-mother, has been tickling him a lot to give him his daily dose of laughter. Now I don't know if it is the right thing to do, but it sure is spreading a lot of joy in my house.

And to spread the joy across borders, my brother is getting his family here in Bahrain. I've been dying to see my niece and nephew in my house and this is really getting me extremely excited. I think when these kids are around three, they are the cutest. My niece is now nine, and she has been showing signs of entering teenage! But whatever it is, they are my most favorite people in the world right now and I cannot wait to see them.

Guess this space will have to wait a little longer to see me in full form! Goodness, what English!!!!!