On Making a List and Looking Back at Doha – 1

I have never been a list writer. Not a bucket list, not even new year resolution. I mean, I can’t really make a specific list of anything. It feels as if making a list will make me confined to it, and what if I change my mind later. And that, I do quite often. The things I love or I don’t quite enjoy will get restricted by making a list.
Although I did once try to make a grocery list for a month. But then the whole grocery shopping lost its charm. It turned into a chore, a boring drab errand. Going to the store, taking the list out of pocket and starting to load the cart – where’s the fun in that ! I would rather browse through the racks, read every offer, every label, wonder how better they could have colour coordinated all the items in each rack, and so on. Only then I will start looking at each

'I did make a 'To-Do List.' The first thing I put on it was, 'Make A To-Don't List.''
‘I did make a ‘To-Do List.’ The first thing I put on it was, ‘Make A To-Don’t List.”

product and contemplate whether we have run out of that at home, or if we need it really. It takes a little longer though, yes, and sometimes I end up getting late for dinner, but then well, it’s once a month favorite pass time of mine. What’s the rush !
Anyway, enough diggression. Let me tell you then why I have brought this topic in the first place of How and why of my list making. It’s the second day task of writing 101 challenge that I’m taking, and I really want to do it thorough. For I figured that writing down a list is not something I want to put in my list of things I’ll never do. Bungee jumping I won’t, ever, but that’s different. So here I’m with some lists of mine…hope you will enjoy 🙂
My last year in Doha was tougher than I thought it would be. Yet, I enjoyed some part of it. Here are some random Things that I liked in Doha: Continue reading “On Making a List and Looking Back at Doha – 1”

The Daughters of India And You!

Two years after a horrific crime, a documentary was made. The following dialogues are fictitious in nature and is written in response to Daily Post's prompt - A House Divided

The Daughter: I never criticise a film or novel, or any work of fiction, you know. Because, I feel a lot of hard work goes into producing a work of fiction, and one who is not qualified enough should never attempt a criticism. But, these days I see, everybody has turned into a critic!

And you are on a banning spree of late. How many voices do you want to curb?

The Father: Banning? Hold on! What are we talking about here! ‘India’s Daughter’ is it?  Continue reading “The Daughters of India And You!”

Toe in the Pond

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Embrace the Ick.”

As it is, too much is happening in life lately.  Now, by too much I mainly mean party, and some academic stuff too. About partying in Doha and all the celebrations, we can definitely discuss more in my next post. Here, I was only intending to tell you how staying away from writing for a couple of days brings the obnoxious writer’s block back in my head. It makes me stay away from blogging some more. Then I start feeling weird and my mind threatens to explode.

I tried all the tricks up my sleeve to get back my ability to put the few words that I know, side by side in a non nonsensical manner. And then I was waiting for the daily prompt to come, was much looking forward to, today.

I was disappointed. Very. Repulsed, you can say. Because, that’s what today’s daily prompt is all about. To talk about ‘icks’, things that make our skin crawl, that too in a glorious way!

Frankly I don’t even get to interpret daily prompt most of the time, let alone personalise it and write. Most of the time it’s all of your posts, those who respond to Daily Post prompt religiously and efficiently, that inspires me.

Today, I was not even inclined to read anybody’s response. Thin skinned I am. Hypersensitivity is my thing. And to that extent, which might make me ickier to you over anything else.

Then why talk about repulsive things that will make skin crawl. Why even bother to think about one such. For I’m pretty sure, if I as much as even attempt to think, thousands of things will come up. Hah! See, there they are!

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Originally uploaded by kate e. did Uploaded from: http://www.mediahunter.com.au

When I was a kid, Dad took me to a neighbourhood pond to teach swimming. Yes, I said pond, as in green algae covered koi pond. Eeek! Don’t make your eyes so big, don’t you look at me like that, please. I was born in the outskirts of Calcutta, you see. During 1988–90, we had some green ponds around the places. People used to come to take bath, or wash clothes there. There were these broad concrete steps to enter the pond. I used to just stand and enjoy watching people there, shit scared to dive.

One day after lot of patronising from Dad, I decided to venture in. He promised to hold me all the time, and never go any further beyond the shallow water. My first step into water was cool. The concrete steps were still continuing below the water level. A little scummy and slippery, but still okay, you know. Then at one point the stairs ended. Yuck ! Yuck Yuck Yuck! Slimy, sticky, muddy pond base touched my toes; with snails in them and godknowswhat! By that time both my tows were inside and I didn’t know how to jump out of neck dip water.

“Why don’t you pull up your leg and start floating? That way, you won’t have to touch the mud anymore.” – Dad’s kind words. Yeah right! As if you get to start floating like a tadpole in the first go, just like that. Huh. I couldn’t. I didn’t learn swimming that day. I never went back to a pond again, any day.

However, eventually I did overcome my fear and repulsion; learned swimming in a clean swimming pool only when my job compelled me to, at a much later age. Swimming now is my next best hobby other than reading novels. A serene and calm ocean in Turkey recently allowed me an all-out freestyle, and an experience of freedom that I never felt before.

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Picture Courtesy: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/23267893 Falgoonkara Khondaker Bari Pukur Ghat

Albeit till date I could not embrace that icky pond base thingy.

Uhm, I think I have tackled today’s prompt without losing my face much, so far, and it will be safe to conclude it right here. Rest of the ick stuffs – well let’s just not go there. Shall we!

I Await a Protector, a Hero : Expecto Patronum !

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Call Me Ishmael.”

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show” – David Copperfield.

With today’s prompt thus, this is the third spur in a row, compelling me to ponder on a major problem, that I don’t want to know.

Freedom of Expression and Speech – Do we have it, or we don’t  ? Well, I certainly don’t. The most successful of British Journalists that I see around, don’t. Who am I ! (Whoa, that’s another provocative question that I want to get out from my mind.)

Hence, I avoided daily prompt – ‘I got skills’, for the skill I want is to cast Patronus charm on the Voldemorts, you know ! (Where is Harry by the way, with his “Expecto Patronum !” and the magic wand! Have they killed him too !)

I avoided talking about faith entirely, because the little I have left in God, I need it bad. So I preserve Him, deep in my heart. I hope not the Frabjous Day  come so soon, for when He does, He annihilates all. One and all – the evil and the not so evil, to start afresh ! (Those who have known me now, need I say, Alice’s Adventure in wonderland is my favourite story, as well !),

Then came today’s prompt. And the first line of my favourite novel taunted me all the more. I closed my eyes tight from Anne Frank’s Diary on my bookshelf; Dickens seems a bit more kind.  Troubled more now, than when friends in FB called me a stupid cow !

But I know, responding to such prompts will take me to a slippery road.

One who is not easily daunted, who is not scared to speak up, under any given circumstances, and dies while entertaining us, teaching too – is the Hero of his own life and us all…

I have a long haul flight to catch tomorrow, and I’m not a hero

My today’s post is only  to put myself to sleep,

So, I must admit –

Pardon moi, Je ne suis pas…

pc

** It’s past 4 in morning, and I’m still staring at the screen. Would you find me childish, if I hit ‘publish’ ?

Not Eighteen Anymore

There is this small Kebab Shop round the corner of the street where I live. It’s very popular. Every evening to late at night, they sell kebabs like hot cakes (cakes are not much in demand here, however). On days when I don’t feel like cooking this kebab shop is our sanctuary.

Wp2
Me ? Not Me ?! Who knows…who cares…

So, whenever we go there, after Arijit has placed the order, we stand outside the shop and wait to get our take away.Through the glass door of the shop I see the huge spread and neat sitting arrangements inside. I watch men eating and talking amongst themselves.

All men. Only men.

Women here do not enter inside such B grade restaurants. I often wonder what will happen if I just get in there one fine day, take a seat and ask for the menu card. Continue reading “Not Eighteen Anymore”

A Dreamer, Yes That’s Me

A tiny lone Christmas tree had been standing inside the gloomy HSBC building’s reception area, in front of my apartment since 25th of December. The only Christmas Tree that I have come across this year in Doha. I definitely don’t want to be it , having a sad Christmas, and a 1st January like no new year at all. But that’s what I am, ain’t I ! Ask me how I have spent my 31st December ? Well, I did some shopping. alright Week day that it was, the mall was scarcely crowded. Yeah, sure I had the time of my life !! Huh.

Then of course one can go to one of the many fine dining restaurants here and enjoy their new year special buffet. I didn’t choose to. If there is nothing other than gluttony to feel its a new year eve, if there would be no fireworks, no count down – I would rather have a ‘non-new year’ year.

But a girl can always have her dreams…

Sitting under a maple tree, in some lush green university campus, I will be immersed in the book in my hand. I will be wearing a scarlet saree, and my untied dark hair would cascade down to  touch the grasses. Perhaps you would recognise the girl from your university classroom. Would you give me a shout out then ? Won’t you come and seat beside me !


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “New Skin.”

How to take a Chill Pill and Share it

I was walking down a long corridor the other day. It was the entrance way to a language learning institute here. Just ahead of me was this tall man in white satin robe. His head was covered in red chequered cloth and a black tussle. I was admiring his regal look as I was walking behind him. Then I came near the glass door that was to be pushed to enter the office of the institute. As this man was right in front of me – he pushed the door open, entered, then turned and slammed it back on my nose. I was standing right there !

We Indians sometimes lack the good manner of a polite smile at strangers in elevator, or holding the door open as we enter if there is another person right behind us. Many of us in India are born in a society and culture where etiquette is not taught, is not naturally prevalent. Doha is a rich country, with extremely polished and cultured people around. Still as an Indian expatriate I am being looked down upon !

Or is that how I think ?! If I could just as much bother to consider the fact that perhaps the gentleman ahead of me probably was simply unmindful, I wouldn’t have been so furious. Even if such a behaviour is ever purposeful, I should be able to understand that it is not me but the other person’s way of thinking.

Taking things personally and get helplessly angry is not a wise thing to do after all. However, most of the time in the heat of the moment we lack the insight to laugh at other’s mistake, and ourselves get miserably mad. Here I would try to give you a simple recipe of taking a chill pill. I do not like the term Anger Management, because it makes anger as important a thing like Business management. We do not need to focus on anger to eliminate anger. We need to focus on being cool, and neutral and in peace about things that we have no control over. Please be with me in this one, as I am not a psychiatrist, and explaining how to tackle anger problem might be a bit complicated.

.What is Anger  Continue reading “How to take a Chill Pill and Share it”

The Irony of Life !

  ‘Life is too short to _____’.  Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.

Yesterday’s writing prompt inspired me on many levels. But Life is lazy, and even though life has nothing much to do these days, when depression kicks in, life can’t seem to gather her wits and focus on writing a post in time.

Depression, why ? Because Life is too short not to take a walk around the park at dawn, or to ride a bike in evening. Some me time alone with latte and novel in the roadside cafe, or the all out shopping escapade without the husband ! Ah, how I miss my days in India ! Life feels too long and dragging, to live without freedom.  Continue reading “The Irony of Life !”

The Who & Why of Me !

 Blogging 101: Introduce yourself. Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I was in a profession once, preparing for which I had to learn the perfect grooming, correct smiling, right etiquettes, and serving meals of course. This job interview preparation had also compelled that I learn ‘by heart’ to introduce myself, for this was the most common interview question.

Since then I realised that though I love to talk, talk endlessly with friends,or in front of a mirror, the last thing I like doing is talk about who I am. No, not because I am shy. I am rather an ambivert person. I simply think that my actions  and behaviour ought to leave a mark in others, and speak volume about me.  I am here to know, think and talk about the world outside of me.Thats why my ‘about me’ page has been brief so long. (But now on a second thought, let me know if I should include these ramblings in there.)

However, I would definitely love to talk about my blog. It had been a while that I got relocated to Qatar from India. This rugged place is so different from my country !
Life here, as I find it, dwells on two extremities – good and bad, and nothing in between. Continue reading “The Who & Why of Me !”

Krishna, My Friend

Fiction

An old calendar used to hang behind her parent’s bedroom door, in Bengal. It was very common in those days in many households. Apartment culture had not creeped into their lifestyle yet. The big household used to shelter many old useless nicknacks, which the house lady tried hard but failed to detach herself from. One such common thing was the dated wall calendar, to which a young girl of six or seven was found talking to.

“Aunt Rina has brought this for us, you know, she has made the cake all by herself. And it’s so soft and yummy looking. She wants Mom to taste it and tell her how good a chef she is ! But Mom has gone for bath. Let’s have a bite meanwhile, what say ?”

To this, the picture in the calendar smiled and perhaps gave his consent. The girl took a spoonful of  the two slices of soft vanilla cake from the dish.

“Yum !”, she exclaimed and then offered a spoonful to the picture in the calendar. Changing her elbow angle she gulped the second helping too, herself, happily.

Then asked, “Did you like this Krishna ! You know, Dorothy brings cake for lunch everyday in school, but Mom never makes one for me. Why don’t you ask her to, Krishna !”

“You should try the strawberry cheesecake from that shop near your school. I have heard they are delicious”, the picture advised her. Eating and talking, she lost the track of time, and everything else. 

Continue reading “Krishna, My Friend”