The Fall

I write because…well, well, now do I really ! When was the last time I wrote ! Ages it seems now.
I thought I had nothing left in me to say. I felt as if all the words have drained out of me, and that I will never write again.
But this room ! This writing desk next to this huge window! It seemed this house was meant for me. So when Areej wanted to take the other house on rent, the one closer to City Center, I insisted on this one. This house is a little away, somewhere right in the middle of Manchester Airport and Piccadilly, if you would. The place is so calm and quiet. The window from my room overlooks this serene backyard with six giant trees – two maple, one that I presume to be fig, and rest I don’t know; and lots and lots of bushes.
When I first came here three months back, the place was all green. So much green, like I had never seen before. And the sky, oh the Sky ! Stark blue. We don’t get such clear sky in India. Not so much green either. Although it should have been, in Bengal at least. But now everything is so grey, so dusty back there.
I had seen leafy trees and leafless trees, but had never seen trees shading their leaves. Like a nostalgic gradual process, the passing of time becomes so palpable, you can feel it. Behind the trees there are the radiant English cottages standing in perfect harmony, at ease. Mine is an apartment, but of that same romantic terracotta red colour, with chimney and fire places and…you know. What else could I have done, sitting here, all alone, but write.
Yet, it didn’t come easy. Words were with me when I had no one, nothing. In that solitary studio in Qatar, confined, I had turned to them. I made Sandcastle my best friend. Came good times, and how conveniently I had forgotten all about it. Continue reading “The Fall”

A Hand full of Awards

It rained today after fifteen days of melting, sweltering heat. Only a little though, but rain it did, nevertheless. And I told myself to start making excuses for writing, instead of the other way around, for a change. Anyway, I want to apologize for this extreme delay in posting the award mail, to all those who had been nominating me from the start of the year. download (1) I had been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by The Atul’s, and also by That Chick Piggy. Another Liebster Award from The Rainman and The Day Dreamer Award from The Champa Tree. Please visit their wonderful blogs, and also convey my thanks to them, would you ?

Now, in response to Atul and Chick Piggy’s nomination, I must give you seven random facts about me. This in a way might also become the response for The Champa Tree’s Day Dreamer Challenge – “Describe yourself. Tell us what you have been meaning to tell the world about yourself..” Ah, what a smarty slacker am I !

And that, definitely is the very first fact about me. Secondly, I am a secretly introvert person, meaning, you won’t be able to tell ever, and to you I will always come across as a jolly good girl, but I feel uncomfortable whenever the spot light is on me. It wasn’t like this always, however. It seemsdownloadto me now, that the more we grow up, the less extrovert we become.

The third random fact in my list is that I love rules, and I love following them too. A small catch however – I love only those rules that I make, or those that makes sense to me. I hate authority. I don’t like to be authoritarian either.

I’m most comfortable in boyfriend jeans, and love wearing Sarees too. I have a big sweet tooth, and I dig on Indian sweets more than anything. (Anything excluding chocolates, ofcourse. Chocolates are not just sweets, they are heaven). Continue reading “A Hand full of Awards”

Castle News : March – May ’15

I have recently learnt that life imprisonment equals to 25 years of jail in Doha. (Reminded me of Shaw Shank Redemption) And the suspected Philippine spies has got their life saved, apparently, as the sentence has been reduced from the more popular – death penalty, reported by Doha News.

The last few days are always tough. It was, and how ! I have come across Indians to whom Doha is a better living choice any day. To me it was out of this world, to put it mildly ! Whatever, I don’t care. Not any more. I had felt caged, suffocated and stifled. Nonexistent – in Doha. (Imagine you asking the priUntitled10ce of something to the shop owner, and he is replying looking at your husband standing next to you!)

Now, with Arijit gone to join his new job in Manchester, I have this entire month for myself. I have this entire month to bask in those nostalgic summer evenings, the frequent Nor’westers, and the yellow taxis.

I am in Calcutta !

And as it seems I can write again, I can think ! Continue reading “Castle News : March – May ’15”

To Storm Out of Doha !

Okay, so this is how the life of an ‘expat-wife’ looks like! And I always thought the idea to be so glamorous!

Here, I have just recovered from some breathing problem, allergy of some kind that happened after Wednesday’s sandstorm. And right now, I’m waiting for another similar one to blow over Qatar, as they are predicting in news.

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From my bedroom window – before the actual storm could begin

Wednesday was bad. And we were totally unprepared for, as there was no prediction. At least none that had come to our notice. Strong wind and whirling of dust had started since evening.  But such is a common occurrence here, and till then that is what I knew to be ‘sandstorm’. I slept sound – blowing caution to the wind. I slept more comfortably because I was in a super comfy bed of a nice hotel room.

Why am I in a hotel room in Doha, you are puzzled, I understand. Well, that’s because our apartment’s rent contract had ended. My farsighted darling husband had predicted that by this time he would manage to move to a new job location, and hence extending the contract would be unnecessary. Then we both had forgotten all about the matter, conveniently. We were brought to our senses only after 25th of last month by the property dealers. Umm, well, I would still give plus marks to Arijit for finding this awesome suit to stay for another month or so, in such a short notice. Ignoring the frustration of not getting to go anywhere out of Doha (at least for the time being) and yet packing and then unpacking, I liked the new place.  It felt rather a welcome change to come to this well-lit suit, with three floor-to-ceiling glass windows, two of which were overlooking two broad roads. If you remember how I always complained about the closed suffocating planning of my earlier apartment, you would understand how happy I was. How was I to know the reason behind the windowless, balcony-less practical purpose of the residential buildings here?

Anyways, I digress. I’m here to tell you what happened with me that night, when the infamous dust storm hit Qatar and other regions of Middle East at 50 km per hour. Media is saying that such storm has not occurred in past seven years. Continue reading “To Storm Out of Doha !”

The Pearl Qatar

Last weekend I had been to one of the most noteworthy and beautiful place in Qatar. The Pearl Qatar is a man-made island, to say it in one sentence. With that I had imagined it to be a sandy beach in the middle of the sea. But it is not. Not in the least.  Pearl Qatar is a gorgeous residential and shopping area, a place that makes you forget that you are in Middle-East. The sea here has been tamed and made to look like a backwater canal, and a part,(read four million square metre), has been turned into this gorgeous island complex with shops, residential apartments and marinas. From my place in Doha, the road to Pearl was dusty, with construction work going on all around. Also, we had to dodge the20150221_173144 traffic, an ever-increasing problem in Qatar now. Continue reading “The Pearl Qatar”

Castle News # February ’15

Ok, alright, shh shh shh…

I know, I know I have been away for a long time – 15 days! Yeah yeah, I’m not a good blogger. Alright, I’m no blogger at all. But please do listen to me, before you judge me, won’t you!

I won’t give excuses like my language school exam, or that Doha climate is keeping me unwell often. I won’t bore you saying how I have splashed cooking oil on my face. How? Great cook I am, and a terrible tennis player, if you know what I mean! Was preparing some hurried breakfast omelette, so you get the picture there.  Don’t worry, those were three dots of minor burn marks, nothing much. And I have found a good dermatologist. So, the marks have faded a great deal. But with all these things going on, it gets difficult to concentrate and write. Afterall content creation is not like cramming before exam, which you can force yourself to do. Content, I can never force myself to create. “It depends on my mood” – Haa Haa! Continue reading “Castle News # February ’15”

On Mount Olympos

Travel Note Throwback

These steps are too high, surely not for human legs to climb. I can go no more”, I resigned and sat on an adjacent rocky platform. It was pitch-dark and not even my hands were visible to me. Thankfully Arijit was holding one of them in his firm fist, and stood silently by my side. Our guide had moved ahead, and now I could see his flash light beaming, as he was returning to us.IMG_2121

There were many tourists without any assist light with them, and were struggling in that dark unwinding steps. People had come for a relaxed beach vacation on this part of Turkey, and this place is only an optional sight-seeing spot. No one probably realised that climbing up Olympos Mountain would be this real a trek. We were in the Antalya City of Turkey, and it was past 8 in the evening then. We were climbing the Olympos Mountain to see Chimera, the fire breathing monster, and the fire that is still burning!

But we were only half way through then. Encouraged by seeing me resting, a few other fellow travellers came to seat near my stone top.

“Didn’t I tell you to smoke less”, a lady scolded her friend. It was late October, and there was slight chill in the wind. Some more flickering flash lights passed by. The woman who was guilty of being a heavy smoker was completely breathless and was panting frantically, all red. I offered her my water bottle.

“We should hurry, or my torch battery would give away”, said our guide. So, we all got up and started following him. The way was narrow, and some turns were particularly dicey; had I not been in my trainers, would sure have hurt my ankles by then. Our guide was actually our hotel appointed driver, but he offered to lead us with his torch, for which I am particularly grateful. He was showing us which stones not to step on, and correcting our wrong turns. I thought we have almost reached, when I saw some tourists descending.

“These are the same steps climbed by Bellerophon on his way to fight Chimera, the monster. These have been restored in recent times,” our guide mentions, reaching the top of the last few steps.

Ah! That explains. I knew these steps can’t be made for normal human to climb, and I was no Greek hero! (Although, I had started feeling like one by then!)

As we reached the top of Olympos, there it was! Chimera, or the flaming rocks – Yanartaş.

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A remarkable natural phenomenon, that has been recorded at least for last 4000 years in thIMG_2132e Yanartaş area, in Turkey. Scattered points from where fire emerges from within the rock gaps, and burns incessantly, with some flames springing as high as 3 feet. While you might be tempted to try and might even succeed in dousing the small flames completely, they will start burning again within minutes.

The Mythological Story:

This area in Turkey called Yanartaş is thought to be the same place – Lycia from ancient times. In the story from Ilyad, Bellerophon, a kind young boy had angered his ruthless king Proetus of Tiryns while protecting Pegassus, the divine horse from his capture. While he had been looked upon kindly by Goddess Athena, and was blessed by her to be able to ride the untameable flying horse Pegassus, the King was infuriated all the more when his Queen took special interest on Bellerophon. The King, avoiding killing a guest directly, sent him to King Lobates, his father in law, with a letter in hand. What Bellerophon didn’t know is that Proetus had asked King Lobates to ‘kill the letter bearer’. Lobates in his turn, unwilling to displease the Gods by killing a guest, hatched a plan.

Lycia at that time was troubled by a ferocious fire breathing monster – Chimera. As Homer described, Chimera had a lion’s head, goat’s body, and tail of a serpent! Bellerophon was sent by Lobates to kill Chimera, hoping that he will die in the quest. He didn’t. With the help of Pegassus, hero Bellerophon succeeded in defeating Chimera instead. He choked Chimera throwing block of lead down its throat.

As the myth goes, some says that the monster still lives and is only sent deep under the earth by Bellerophon, and that it is still breathing fire through the gaps in the mountain.

Apart from this story of Chimera, the belief of the eternal fire burning in Mount Olympos, the home of the Gods also befits the name of this place.

However, I’m only too sure that you have already figured out the presence of methane and other volcanic gases to be the real cause behind this natural phenomenon. Although, Greek mythology never fails to fascinate, does it! BEN104198

How to reach: 

Chimera, also known as Yanartas locally, is within a small village – Chireli in Antalya province of Turkey. Antalya International Airport (IATA: AYT; ICAO: LTAI) is the closest airport.

You can rent a car at the Antalya International Airport. From Antalya International Airport, follow signs to Kemer. After passing Kemer, drive 30km in the direction of Ulupinar. After passing Ulupinar, the next sign will be for Cirali. Turn left at the sign, then drive another 7km downhill until you cross a small bridge. After crossing, you are in Cirali.

there are several hotels in Cirali. However, if you have planned to stay in the old town Kaleici in Antalya, or near any other beach, visiting Yanartas can be fitted in a day’s itinerary.

Other places of interest in Cirali village are the ruins of Mount Olympos, Cirali beach, which is the nesting ground of Caretta caretta turtle, a rare species, and also nearby Phaselis beach, known for it’s transparent pristine water, and private beach experience.

The Little Act of Kindness

The Blogging 201 course is almost at it’s end. All the hard works, and sleepless nights towards fulfilment of one dream – having a perfect blog, being a perfect blogger, is slowly gaining a perspective. To some success comes overnight, some has to toil harder to get it. But for every blogger one thing is common. We all love our blogs like a farmer loves his field. We love our blogs most.

Content with that self love in mind, when we come across someone else’s blog, that truly takes our breath away as a reader, when we can’t help but appreciate the words, the look and feel, the content of that blog more than anything, and above all it inspires us to have a bigger goal about our own blog – often we get lost for words. Comments don’t come easy. Pressing the like button doesn’t seem enough.

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Out of many favourites of mine, two such blogs are Quantum Hermit, and Wisdom’s Quill. If you just for once drop by Fimnora Westcaw’s blog Quantum Hermit, be prepared to get trapped in her beautifully woven stream of words, like some soothing music. “Your own journey becomes part of mine as mine becomes part of yours”, thinks Fimnora. Her about page is simply breathtaking, have a look.

I thought of copying a few words to give you a sample of Brian’s voice in Wisdom’s Quill, but I am not sure where to stop my selection cursor, to quote. I like all his words. Very masculine and strong, yet sensitive – exactly what we want, haa haa! “I live for the moments when I’m outside in nature, and suddenly realize that I’m no longer outside, but inside; inside the very entity that birthed me. These moments inspire me, because they are bigger than me.  They produce within me, feelings that were never meant to be contained, so this is why I write.  Not just words, but I write feelings” – that’s BE, our Brian, with a fiery quill indeed.

I like reading them, so it came as a surprise, a fun surprise when they chose to nominate me for Liebster Award! They did, last week, making me wordless to thank them enough. Thus, two Liebster Awards in my kitty. And I get to nominate a total of twenty-two (Yay!) of my many favourite blogs (that’s eleven nominees for each Liebster), to “pay it forward”, as Fimnora puts it.

My nominees:

  1. Albert’s New York
  2. The Expat Partners Survival Guide
  3. Alpha Female, Mainstream Cat
  4. Animate your Life
  5. And Just a touch of Crazy
  6. Berning Along
  7. Extracts from a Personal Diary
  8. Emovere
  9. Flavoured Lemons
  10. Hannah*Mumbi
  11. Hogrider Dookes
  1. I am barely Keeping Up
  2. Journey of a Squivelist
  3. My Toronto Life
  4. My Take My Thoughts
  5. Nicole Riget’s Blog
  6. Pipoy the Explorer
  7. Silver Lining Mama
  8. Sinroze
  9. So Very Deep (In The Closet)
  10. The Champa Tree
  11. The ElFonian

To my nominees: Nominating you is another way of my telling you that I really enjoy reading your blogs. I am not a lover of rules and obligation myself. Hence, I will totally understand if you donLiebster2‘t want to participate in this. Award posts are really lengthy and take a lot of time. We all understand that. However, if you choose to participate, (thank you :), and congratulations!) please feel free to mention 11 random facts about yourself or your blog, as you choose, along with 11 other nominated blogs. Other details on blog awards, you can find here.

Now, my answers to Fimnora’s set of questions:

1. What song defines who you are, and would you share a youtube link for it?

I’m alive, by Celine Dion and Let it Go from Frozen are two of my very favourite songs. Also, I hope you dance, by Ronan Keating.

2. Which of your owns posts is your favorite, and why?

Initially I don’t like any of my posts, they don’t seem good enough. Then as you all start liking them, I like them too 🙂

3. What is your most favorite quote from a movie? What is the movie?

“From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I’ve been told what I must do and who I must be. I’ve been shrunk, stretched, scratched, and stuffed into a teapot. I’ve been accused of being Alice and of not being Alice but this is my dream. I’ll decide where it goes from here” – Alice in Alice in Wonderland

4. If you could time travel, where would you go, and why?

I don’t like to ride a time machine. Whoever has, has ended up in trouble. No, no, bad idea for me. I am perfectly good here and now.

5. What is one moment you can remember which changed your life?

Everything we become today are for all the small momentary changes in the past. Everything that happened, good and bad has made me what I am today. 

6. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Difficult question ! No Idea 🙂

7. What is your favorite genre of fiction?

Historical, Thriller, Detective, Women’s Fiction, Drama, Autobiography

8. Who or what encouraged you to become a writer?

Eyes of the boy 😉

9. What book have you read more than once?

David Copperfield

10. What other art form are you most interested in?

Movie making

11. What prompt for blogging would you like to offer to Blogging U?

“‘The rule breaker’ – Talk about the biggest rebel that you have known, and how he/she has influenced your life. If you think you are the biggest rebel, tell us the reason that prompts you to break rules”

Wisdom’s Quill Questions answered:

Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes, gorgeous feelings to have. But they are called infatuations.

Would you ever start another blog? No idea about future

What makes you angry? Hardly I get angry these days. But lies and dishonesty used to make me angry when I was younger.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Was an extrovert, but experience teaches you to grow introvert, I guess. Will call myself an ambivert person, for now.

What would be the coolest super power to possess? This I have already blogged about, before. I would love to cast a spell like Harry Potter, and end all radicalism in pretext of religion.

In another life, what animal would you be? Elephant

Would you rather be early, on-time, or fashionably late? On – time

Which one of your 5 senses would you be saddest to lose? Sixth sense, haa haa.

If you were Noah, which animal would you leave behind? As would be God’s command. Otherwise none. 

What is your favorite genre of literature? Novels

When you travel, do you prefer driving or flying? Driving.

And lastly to my readers: Thank you for sticking with me for so long, and being such a patient listener.

Love

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.”

SuperEgo Speaks

As the Super Ego I should have total control over my mind, don’t you think ? And that I should know well enough whom, or what I am dealing with, controlling for that matter, and teaching morality and all that ! But here you see, I don’t even know if she is flexible and adaptive like water, or rock solid as ice. “Aquarius I am, free as air”, she tells me. Free alright, but trust me, very difficult to handle. Well, that’s my job, to keep a check on her free will. I try my best.

Arundhati has never been a fan of new year resolutions, just as she is not a fan of sticking with a routine. Any routine, whatsoever. Hitting the gym everyday, or practice writing every morning – nothing that entails regularity and discipline thrills her. Some kind of weird commitment phobia you can say, I have always noticed that any kind of routine activity makes her feel obligated and entrapped. She runs away from monotony, rebels against discipline. The thing she fails to understand is that a highly polished pebble can shine brighter than an uncut diamond. A regular practice is essential in whatever one wants to excel in.

Oh of course she enjoys the rush of adrenaline after a 20 minutes treadmill run, when her face is all glowing and radiant after a hearty workout. She definitely enjoys getting ‘like’ in her blog post, or when someone follows her blog. Its only when she needs to stick to something, be regular and see through the end, her whimsical and rebel mind wakes up. She will withdraw immediately from whatever it was that she was enjoying so far, and then no amount of my pleading or begging will yield her.

Good thing, however, that after all these years now gradually she is starting to feel that falling into this known rhythm of procrastination every time has after all become a routine in her life. I guess I might have something to do in making her see things in this light. Last night I succeeded in convincing her that she should change her predictable irregular and erratic ways and do something that she has never done before.

Look how she has got into the right frame of mind since then. Perhaps for the first time in life, she made a new year resolution too. “I will write 365 blog posts in 2015”, she has promised. Lets keep a count, shall we ?

She has even changed her blog’s url. I have always found dohablogs.wordpress.com to be a lame one. How she figured out 12 different ideas for a blog title, and the seven-day long process of zeroing into one is a different story altogether. However, now that she is in her ‘write mind’ I’m sure she would share this herself someday soon. I find Doha to be a lame stupid place, as well. A boring city with morbid streets and buildings and passionless life. What is their to write about Doha!

“I am not at all home sick, but this restricted and oppressed Doha is making me so wretchedly depressed. The only good thing happening with me here is blogging, but that too I don’t feel like…”, she confessed the other day. I think with a little bit coaxing, I might just as well succeed in getting her change the focus of her blog.

However, I think it is somewhat my fault that she doesn’t write here more often. Its my over criticising that blocks her writing mostly. I love her perfectionist nature a lot though. But I must take a leave now, so that she can muse here more often, and become a better writer herself, in the process.

Anyways, long story short, I think this post from me will refresh and kickstart her blogging. And I shall see you all in 3 month’s time to share how things are going. Stay tuned and keep me posted on her shortcomings…

Happy New Year…have a lovely one ! C ya !! 🙂

                                        *************************************

id-ego-superego


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Ice, Water, Steam.”