Tag Archive | bahrain

Stranded!!

It was a Monday that day too. It was a day when I was at home, at peace and enjoying my leisure time. Browsing through sites, I felt at peace when there was a knock at the door. I got up to find Shamina at the door. Shamina is an old lady about 60 + working as a maid to my  neighbour. ‘Did madam leave key with you’, she asked.

‘No, but you have a key, right?’, I asked her back.

‘Yes but I forgot to bring it….Its alright I will go back home and bring it’, she said.

‘Where do you live?’, I asked her. She mentioned a place quite far.

‘You’ll walk?’, I asked.

‘Yes, no buses ply on this route’, she said and turned.

‘Wait, I said and picked up my car keys.

She sat silently by my side. ‘Where does your husband work?’, I asked.

‘I don’t know’, she said and remained silent.

Some days later I met Sheetal my neighbour on the stairs, it was not often theat we met and so started talking. I told her about the day Shamina forgot her keys.

‘Oh, Shamina is my strength’, Sheetal said, ‘You know how often Ricky falls sick. It is Shamina who looks after him. ‘She is very silent and sad, why so’, I asked.

‘She had a daughter who was detected with leukaemia at the age of 12. eventually she died. Her husband left her soon after that taking her passport with her. So she is left here stranded’, Sheetal said.

But surely the embassy can help, if you want I have some friends in the Indian Ladies Association who can help’, I said.

But she does not want to go back to India. It seems that her family outcast her when she married against their wishes. Anyways her parents have died and her brother does not want any relationship with her, so where will she go’, Sheetal said.

Visions of people stranded like her rushed through my eyes. In addition there are those who came in the ruse of a better life but discovered otherwise. The laundry wallah who is a graduate and came in search of a job but was tricked into signing a contract for ironing clothes. By the time his contract ends he will be considered useless for any other jobs. The road cleaner who thought it will be fun to be in a ‘foreign’ country and pooled all his resources to come here only to sweep roads in scorching summers and freezing winters, for whom even a samosa ia a luxury…. The rag picker ho picks up cartons from the dustbin. He has forgotten his mother tongue or his birth place. The stories are endless.

So many stories like this all around…..

I wonder how many Indians actually live here. For there are countless, unaccounted ones…

 

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My angel

My first visit to Moda mall and I was excited.

image courtesy: google images

I moved my gaze up and looked at the structure with its fans. The summer sun reflected its rays. Without sunglasses I was temporarily blinded but stepped into the foyer and banged on the door. Maybe the sensor of the automatic door was not working properly, but it opened after I banged on it. A bunch of guys laughed at me. I felt ashamed.

My little sister rushed in at that moment, held my hand, made me stable; all the while glaring at the guys and then we marched in.

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A real life incident which happened some years back. The only fictional part is that it was my hubby who held my hands. I do not have a younger sister and it is always my better half or the son who hold my hands while I keep banging on things or doors 🙂

Written as a part of Writetribe 100 words on Saturday. The prompt this time My little sister.

100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe

 

Travel Tales IV

We were going on for our Annual Vacation in the summer of 2005. The trip originally planned for August had been rescheduled for June end. That year was the first time post surgery and we were apprehensive. I was due for a complete overhaul 😀

The only tickets that were available to Hyderabad were in the Air India Express.  And we took it. I don’t remember much about the happenings at the Bahrain Airport; we were that tense. The flight reached Mumbai around 11.30 p.m. and our connecting flight was at 2a.m By 4 we were supposed to reach Hyderabad. Around 1.30 a.m we boarded the flight to Hyd. and waited and waited. It was raining outside and freezing inside.. Because fo the difference in temperatures, tiny droplets of moisture started forming on the ‘walls’ and eventually started falling on us. The crew was busy with themselves. Neither the heater was put on nor any blankets were given.

We waited like that till 6 am.

The flight was like a pick up. The passengers of Air India who were coming from different parts of the world and traveling to Hyderabad were hauled into our flight. The flight eventually was full and then it took off.

My neurosurgeon had kept the day free for me. You know how busy these super-specialists are. I had to meet him that day itself and already our flight had been delayed. My brother had come for the day from Vizag to tide things over for us. He was waiting for us at the airport..

The flight eventually reached at 8a.m. By the time we cleared customs and immigration, we expected our baggage to arrive. The baggage had indeed arrived but it was the baggage of travelers bound for Chennai. (Our flight had proceeded to Chennai) Yes. our baggage was bound for Chennai.

I just had my handbag and another small bag containing magazines, sweater etc. The bag containing my lab reports, medical file, MRI had all left for Chennai. We did not even have a change of clothes.

My brother called up the Doctor and explained our predicament. He asked us to report to the hospital immediately, make a new file and proceed for MRI, as the Lab had been kept free for me. So I went ahead for my check ups.

We had given our contact details to Air India and they were supposed to call us as soon as the luggage arrived. But when there was no call till 2p.m, we proceeded to the Airport. We came to know that the baggage had arrived but the guard would not allow us to go inside. We pleaded, we showed him our tickets, the baggage claim form  but no, he would not allow us inside.Obviously he needed some ‘chai paani’.

That was it; we went to the Officer In-charge of the Airport Authority of India, (barged actually) and told him about what all happened. Other passengers too came and stood with us. Observing the crowd he got up and escorted us to the Carousel where our baggage was thrown. Our bags were wet and dirty but at-least we had got back our bags.

From that moment on, I always carry my valuables with me.

After two days of check ups and being told that allz well,we boarded the tain to Vizag. My brother had already left the previous night. That night we slept peacefully, without bothering for food or comforts.

I was awakened by a phone call by my brother the next morning, ‘I can see your train’, he said. We were supposed to get down at a station called Duvvada, a small station where the train stops for just 2 minutes, a stop which is quite close to the Steel township of Vizag.

I shook my husband awake, removed the chain. As soon as the train chugged in to the station, He threw the bags onto the platform, pushed me out and then jumped out himself. My father standing some steps away could not understand what had actually happened 😛

Shocked

I am shocked beyond words. When I read this news, for some moments I went numb. It is shocking when we read such news but in my case more so if it is a fellow Indian going through such pain.

I don’t know the background of ‘this story’. Was there a marital conflict, was he really stressed out? I just know the pain that the woman is going through and that a young life was nipped in the bud.

I have a propensity that when I am agitated the tone of my voice goes up. And my husband, the wise one, the calm one; asks me ‘is this why you were given a good education?’. Meaning that education helps you to be rational, to think, to be balanced.

But then I see this well educated people committing suicide, getting murderous, I wonder, what went wrong. But then who knows the vagaries of the human mind?

We teach our kids to be achievers. In Vizag on my vacation this year I saw kids in the 8th-9th standard getting coached for IIT entrance. I learnt that kids in second and third standard are being taught both State and CBSE syllabus so that it would be easy later on for entrance to professional colleges.

But are we able to teach some morals, some basics, do we teach them ‘Who am I really?’

Success, failure are a part of life as is death, illness, deception. Why is life to be measured in the amount of money we have made.

At the end when we leave this body there is nothing left but the love of those who matter most to us.

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Forgive me if I am incoherent but I am too saddened by this news and yet I want everyone to read this post and this news.

Coconuts and rains

I huffed and puffed, a whack here a slap there, a short prayer and then finally after a full five minutes, managed to break a coconut.

‘what a Mangalorean and does not know how to break a coconut, you may ask?’

Yes, I do not.

My mother on her part had tried to teach her foolish daughter everything including grinding on a grinding stone (it is a different matter that those big stones are extinct nowadays). But she never allowed me to break a coconut. Reason being that she was afraid that her clumsy daughter may chop of her hand.

All these years my hubby broke the coconut for me but now after 10 years of marriage I feel ashamed to ask him. I mean by now I should have been a n expert, isn’t it?

Yes supermarkets do scrape and give coconuts now. We just have to select and hand over the coconut at the counter and they scrape and give it. But no I don’t do that, the taste of freshly scrapped coconut masala is entirely different. Also the counter guy just scrapes 3/4th of the coconut . I am sure with the remaining 1/4 they make coconut powder and sell it. (you can call me a miser but hey I am a Konkani, so how can I not love my coconut.)

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I cleaned my windows day before yesterday. Yes, we do everything ourselves. Me and my better half are so particular that even if we kept a help I am sure he/ she would run away within a day.

And so I washed the windows. Earlier I would lift the windows carry it to the bathroom and wash it but then old age is catching up with me and I am no longer able to lift it. And so I took a bucketful of water and washed the windows. (the one living below is now used to my antics and prefers to remain mum).

And then yesterday it rained………….

Rains in Bahrain are blackish. I often feel like leaning out of the window and tasting whether its rain or petrol, it is that dirty.

And my windows…. they are dirty again 😦

Calm

I open a tab,

Search for news,

All safe?

Can we venture out?

 

uncertainty reigns,

Insecurity brims,

rumours are rife,

Everyone tries to live a normal life.

 

I shudder

Close my eyes

try to find a way

in my inner turmoil.

 

And then

realisation strikes

Amidst the chaos

Peace reigns.

Lost

Cruising around quiet roads, I felt a deep sense of loss.

Loss of freedom-> Not so long ago, people used to hang out late, socializing. Today everyone coops inside, socializing yes, but not outdoors.
Loss of freedom->Where anyone spoke to everyone without fear, today everyone speaks but now; thinks about what can be spoken.

It’s so easy to protest but do we ever think of what we have got. We demand our rights but do we do our duties?

Sometimes in the hurry to demand, we lose so much, the loss is much more than what we gain.

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In response to the word prompt QUIET @ Velvet verbosity and the situation in the Gulf.