Thursday, May 21, 2009


In my opinion, anyone who is cruel and abusive to children and animals is not a human being; does not deserve to be treated as one. Period. It is such a horrible thing that people use religion to get away with these kinds of acts too! The article below just made me so sad…..can you imagine the number of children who have suffered for so many years in the hands of idiots and perverts disguised as fathers and nuns?!!! No one interfered too; there was nobody the poor, helpless kids could turn to! How can anyone be religious seeing such acts? Whom do you trust?
Look at this link below from yesterday’s Hindu Metro supplementary:
Somebody actually tied a dog using barbed wire!!! I do not understand how people can be this cruel. Same goes for killing any animal. Non-vegetarians can give hundreds of examples or references, religious and otherwise as to why they eat meat; I will never understand or accept it though. How can you eat meat knowing somebody killed that animal and in all probability it suffered horribly before its death? Don’t get me wrong, most people around me are non-vegetarians, including members of family, and many dear friends. While I am opinionated in this issue, I do not force anyone to convert; all the same I request everybody to stand up for certain issues as human beings and make sure in your own way you make some small contribution to animals in this world.
This recent post on his blog by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States is very interesting.
I have always admired the work by this society and thank them for exposing so many issues to the public and saving so many many lives. The Michael Vick trial had me boiling for months….’how could he?’ was a question I could not get out of my head for a very long time. I wanted him to suffer more than all the dogs he killed and injured put together! This post by Mr. Pacelle made me very happy this morning though. I appreciate how the society is trying to use Vick to change the attitudes of many growing boys from similar backgrounds, thus ensuring removal of any new Michael Vicks coming up in this world. I hope and pray that Vick is really honest in his efforts and somebody is always watching him, because I am not going to be able to trust him for a very long time! This is also important, especially because no matter what he did, there are people who still worship him for the Quarterback that he was! When the six year long dog-fighting operations were finally discovered, many fans of his actually wrote in public forums “So what if he killed dogs, it’s not like he killed human beings”!!!!!!!! As you can imagine, my BP shot up so much after reading those kind of statements, that I would have gladly killed whoever wrote that myself and had no regrets.
If anyone wants to know more about Vick and repercussions he faced due to his actions etc, here is the wiki page about him:
Kindly also follow Mr. Pacelle’s blog, if interested, and I strongly urge all my friends to do your part, however small; volunteer for animals, donating just little bits of time for them, or make financial donations, however small. Every small good act or thought counts!
As long as I am in the link-giving spree ;-), here is also Qatar Animal Welfare Society’s (QAWS):

Monday, May 18, 2009


When did I grow up from a girl into a woman?
When did the world start to matter less and my inner voice more?
When did I start making my own rules according to the way I live and want to live?
When did I first fall in love?
When did you walk into my life?
When exactly did I fall in love with you and decide you were the love of my life?
When did we start fighting?
When did I begin to lose confidence in your unconditional support and love?
When and will all this be over?
When will you give me my childhood back as you promised?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Trust and courtesy

It has been a long time since such a thing happened to me……..I have only seen people doing such things when I was a small girl! Yesterday I paid few thousand riyals (Qatari currency) to a very nice man (professional who owns a real estate and car rental company) for a rental car. He simply put it in his pocket without counting! I had to insist that he counted it at least once in front of me. He gave me a questioning look filled with embarrassment and then did it.

Are such trusting people still left on the face of this earth? Wow! Granted he might have counted the money after I left, but still it’s been a while since I experienced this kind of courtesy to fellow people. Glad to get back in touch with some of these roots that so make up Asian culture :-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To my mom on Mother's day!

Happy Mother’s day to the fantastic lady who is my mom! This post in dedicated to her :-)
Obviously this is not the only day I am thankful to God for giving me such awesome parents….but lets make today special by writing a little more about my amma. Post dedicated to my dad coming up soon on Father’s day! ;-)
What has she not done for me? Nothing…..what I am today is totally her making. Such an awesome mixture of beauty, brains and courage, she made the perfect role model; could not have asked for more! She made me work very hard….tough task master that she was (you can never be working up to your full potential!); she had rigid rules when I was younger about cleanliness (shower just 2-3 times a day? Why so lazy?!!!), sleep timings (the lesser, the better!), friends (talk to them in school….no wasting time again at home in the evenings, talking over phone!), vocabulary (the words, ‘no’, ‘can’t do’, ‘can’t find’, ‘don’t know’ etc did not exist in her dictionary!), etc etc…..
She also taught me the joys of charity and well-being, by being the most generous person I have seen! For example, she did not give leftovers to the maid we had then (single mom supporting three daughters), but actually made fresh food for her one day simply because she thought she looked tired that day! Now that she knows I am blogging, she has given me a list of topics to blog about, that would put Mother Teresa to shame ;-) “Blog about poverty, talk about various important diseases that need more funding, or can help poorer people” etc. I may not have responded too enthusiastically ma, but I am so proud of you for reminding me of such topics……that’s what makes you, you! I most definitely will too, coz I am her daughter and it is in the genes, right? ;-) If I do forget some values at any point in life, I am sure she will also remind me of the lost ones and give me one good talk that will make me wish the earth will open up and swallow me ;-)
At times of need, she proved to be the most courageous person in the family and was, is and will always be the most optimistic person I know! She never gives up when the rest of the world does…..I like to think I inherited little bit of that, but I do know I have a thread of pessimism in me many a times, that I inherited from appa’s practical approach to things. But I do like the balance that brings ;-)
She has also been my best friend throughout life and there is not much she does not know. I also firmly believe that if I can’t tell my mother about something I am doing, then it is wrong and I shouldn’t be doing it in the first place! Have also learnt this the hard way ;-) But who is always there behind me after I make those mistakes and am recovering? It’s always her and I am so glad for the total, unconditional support in life!
To end this senti post I thought I will write 10 things (facts, quirks, and nerdy things) about my mom (I may be killed for this)!
1) Floors at home have to be cleaned at least twice a day, with her best old friend, the bleaching powder!!!
2) She used to hate having pets at home, but now Dippy and Dashy are her children; more so than my cute brother and me! :-(
3) She actually does not mind food in planes!!!
4) She loves to gossip and makes sure she is aware of her neighbors’ activities, although she will swear otherwise ;-)
5) She is so young at heart, knowing all about the latest actors, singers, etc. and she is a fan of many as much as I am, or even my younger cousins in college and school are!
6) She is a great business woman too, even more than I suspect she thinks :-)
7) When I got bday cards from secret admirers way back in school, she actually decoded and gave me the name of the card sender!!!
8) She knows all about my secrets and crushes, even the ones I did not tell her; the shrewdest person I know in the world!!!
9) Jealousy is not in her nature at all
10) She wishes she had achieved so much more in life, without knowing how much she has influenced the world around her by being herself and her achievements are priceless!
Love you ma…..if I am even 50 % of the mother you are, I would be a fantastic mom too :-)
Keep rocking this world!
P.S – Happy Mother’s day to all other moms reading this post too :-) I am sure you are all rocking your kid’s world too!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


A new city…..just moved here a short while ago……do I like it? An intriguing question……lets explore!
It started off by being a totally different experience, shocking me to the core at times, and pleasantly surprising me sometimes. It does not matter that I made a very expensive trip just months earlier as a visitor to check out the place and to see if I would like it. It turned out to be totally different feel when I wound up things from the US for the time being and came here. For the first several weeks, this “different” feel made me look longingly at the airport….very longingly at flights just taking off……making me wonder “can I just hang on to the outside of the plane and go wherever it takes me”, making me feel dangerously like Mort in Madagascar 2! My aunt’s house is also very close to the airport and did not help matters at all! Now although the feeling rears its ugly head at times, for the most part I can see the airport and act like a normal person; that’s quite an improvement, trust me!
When I think about what to say about Doha, don’t really know where to begin…..coz there is tons to say… lets break it down- I am going to try and be organized and discuss one thing at a time! Here it goes…..

City – how it looks and feels:
You can see a mixture of so many places of the world, that it is amazing. No two cities can be compared and so I cannot say that it feels like any one place for example. Doha has a beautiful skyline….a very developing one, and hence you will see an amazing number of cranes and construction sites from any given point of earth that you occupy. This is true for any where in the city; I tried counting the # of huge cranes that I could see from one signal this morning, for example, and I could not finish counting, although I spent more than 5 minutes at that roundabout! The skyline looks very pretty, especially at night and they have a very good assortment of buildings, of all sizes, shapes, and colors! The Al Corniche Street, which is the road parallel to the sea, is very beautiful, although very crowded, and this will take you on a nice drive, where you can see all the buildings of the skyline with a constant view of the sea! Having grown up in Madras, this is very important for me ;-)
On the other hand, there are roads that make me feel happy that I grew up in the happy crowded streets of India, with comparatively much better roads and very organized traffic!!! No no no, lets not talk about traffic yet…..that is whole separate section by itself!
This city offers huge shopping malls, and also old souks (can’t comment too much on those yet, but it will be a post later on, I promise). It is a great mixture of the western world and also has the great small shops that are so typical in Asia! People know you personally in these shops, provided you have been spotted a couple of times shopping there. You also have the anonymity in other places that I sometimes so crave, thanks to the effect of the US on any person who has lived there for even a year; There are any number of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, etc etc shops, which should put any Asian at ease right away. Ditto for restaurants; as a visitor last time, I was amazed to see almost all the American fast food chains in Doha, even Dairy Queen, as I so happily reported back to the greatest fan of DQ, whom I am incidentally marrying this year ;-) There is even a Toys r Us! So you get the idea…..

People & culture:
There is a great mixture of people from all over the world…..there are lots of people from India, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, USA, all parts of Europe, Africa, etc, which is really nice. Culture is predominantly Islamic…..natives wear their traditional robes and prayer halls form an important aspect of any floor in every building even! International people experiment more in the recent years I guess, although professionally, even sleeveless is not a permissible attire! This shocked me initially; a good chunk of my professional wardrobe was eliminated!!! Also you don’t feel like wearing such clothes even outside of work, because it is not that common and people stare at times……these are the examples of times you crave living elsewhere in the world!
People are otherwise usually friendly and helpful; I have heard from friends and read that children are pampered everywhere they go, but having no experience in the area, that is second hand information. I will add more to these sections as and when I have more experiences and things to add on; remember I am new here too!

Yes, this needs to be a separate section! As a tourist last time around, I had such funny incidents to narrate…..the gardener who told my aunt, “Tomorrow no water, tomorrow, tomorrow no water, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow no water”, which simply put actually meant, “don’t water the plants for next three days”! Or the security guard in a school who gave us directions to the Principal’s office as “Go straight, turn to right, more straight turn to right, more straight turn to right, big hall coming……there Principal is sitting, secretary is sitting”!!! I left his desk flabbergasted, mentally imagining myself taking a complete turn and coming back to an open hall where the Principal and secretary where sitting on the floor, just waiting for people passing by! At the same time I was counting my blessings that he could at least speak this amount of English to guide me to the approximate area. While dealing with staff of this kind, one often might have to face this issue, which trust me is just funny than anything else. It gets a bit annoying only when you need to deal with professionals and their emails can be quite unhelpful because of this kind of language and communication is a hassle. You can mostly get away with speaking English or any Indian language even, especially Malayalam. If you know Malayalam, actually you are better off than knowing English! There are so many Keralites here. Professionally too not knowing Arabic can sometimes be hard, and again this depends on individual offices and departments as far as I can tell. It is not that hard though, and I am now used to any surprises that these issues are capable of throwing at me. My biggest worry though is bursting out laughing one day, when someone is seriously trying to communicate something! ;-)

Here we are at my most favorite section! The traffic here shocks you at first and as a passenger, especially if you are from anywhere other than Asia, you don’t think you can drive at all. Don’t worry……you can do it; you just need tons of courage and confidence! Most traffic rules are not followed by people who own huge SUVs and in this part of the world, where gas is so cheap, that’s most of the population! People keep telling me it is much better now with more rigid rules and heavy traffic violation fines etc. One very new thing here is the concept of roundabouts everywhere…..I have already been driving here for more than a month and I still don’t know what exactly the rules to turn at a roundabout are! I pretty much just wait and watch and sneak at any point when I can, while just hoping and praying I don’t hit anyone or vice versa!!! Ok, I am mildly exaggerating, but it is true that there are no rules followed for the most part and you just need to act smart on the road! As long as you have full control on your driving and good brakes, its fine I guess ;-)
Here is an extract from Qatar Living forum, which might sum up a lot of the attitude of driver’s here for you:
I was driving a LAND CRUISER yesterday from RAS LAFFAN to DOHA and donno why, but all the vehicles in front of me were automatically moving to the right even if I don't flash the light... This made me feel like a KING/SHEIKH even if don’t want to be... STRANGE HUH...???.
9:27 PM and here is one response:
Strange feeling isn't it?
I have the same problem in my Pink KIA..
!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) he he he……

These are all some the things I wanted to write about and this turned out to be a longer post…..been writing it for two days already whenever free!
So, to sum up do I like the place? I am beginning to love it! :-) I guess I like moving around the world and exploring new places. I do miss the US very badly and the life I had established there, but I am enjoying the challenges that this new place keeps throwing and even enjoying the driving. I guess when I drive again in the US, I am going to be bored!!! You see it is too easy :-)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

There it is......I can hear her voice again! Strange how it suddenly bellows into the whole room.....she is asking me if I ate today and if I went for my usual morning walk; did I have my favorite snack? What can I tell her? That I miss her very much? She visits me once every few years, loves me and spoils me thoroughly. She spends almost her entire time with me, except when she is out with her friends or out shopping. We go for walks regularly every morning to the beach and throughout the day she makes sure I am very comfortable and not fighting with my son! But after some weeks together, she always leaves with those big bags in the middle of the night. After that regularly, I suddenly hear her voice mysteriously booming into the room asking me if how I am, telling me that she misses me and asking if I miss her! All I can do in return is wave my tail in recognition and to say I miss her very very much too, look bewildered and wonder where she is talking to me from!

P.S. This post is dedicated to my pet pal Dipsy and his son Dashy :-) This is what I assume they think when I speak to them over the speaker phone, or when I am online with the family!
Hi to all who might come accross this blog by accident and to friends who will be forced to read it!
While I have been an avid reader of many great blogs, this is the first time I am trying to actually write one myself, thanks to the persistent efforts of a dear friend and to motivation by great bloggers! I hope this becomes a space where I keep up with lots of writing and maintain it as my own teeny tiny space in cyberland. This has been a very very eventful year.....I moved to a new country, took up a new job and am getting married to my sweetheart of many years. Do keep checking in for some interesting posts, musings and of course some irritated rants ;-)