Author: Zahra

Pass or Fail?

It’s funny how sometimes the memories section on Facebook with just one picture can bring to the fore a plethora of memories. Some of which you cherish, some you regret and then there are those that you have been trying to forget for as long as you can remember. The picture I saw today was of my graduation from college, black robes and hat throwing, the whole nine yards! I graduated from KC (believe me, you don’t want to learn the whole name) with a degree in Mass Media and a major in “how to survive Mumbai”. I entered college with 84% marks, my School President batch still pinned onto my pencil pouch, a head full of ideas on what I wanted to do with my newly attained freedom (Yes, I had been liberated from the dictator called Dad and the jail called Kuwait). I was now in what was, only the most happening city in India, Mumbai, as they like to call it or Bombay, as I like to call it or Bumbai as …

Jordan: What You Seek is Seeking You

What you seek, is seeking you. – Rumi Ever since I started traveling, I have been waiting for this big trip to happen, that will change my life and I will come back this whole new person. While every new journey has been a completely unique and exciting adventure, I always find myself coming back and easily falling into the trap that everyday life is. Once the vacation hang-over wears off, the grumbling and complaining starts. But Jordan was different. To start with, I never imagined traveling by myself in the Middle East. Even though I have spent a big part of my life living in Kuwait, the idea of traveling by myself in any of the Middle Eastern countries was horrifying. But travel alone I did. Unlike every other vacation that takes months to plan, with hours at length devoted to research and preparation, Jordan was very spur of the moment. I booked my ticket, got my visa, looked up some blogs, made a list of places to see, in no particular order and …

Life at the Terminal

When I watched Tom Hanks’s The Terminal, I was left confused and am quite undecided even today on whether it’s a tale of resilience or a story about the helpless acceptance by a man of his circumstances. The way Hanks watches people come and go, all the while making himself comfortable on an airport terminal, hoping to someday return home is almost soul shattering. That’s what living in Kuwait feels like sometimes. As an expat who was brought-up in a country where you will always remain somewhat of an outsider; it is not very different from what living at an airport would be like. Every new arrival in here I think goes through the seven stages of recovery: Shock: Culture shock I think is way greater for western expats than for those of us who come from the developing world. While we move from a third world country where you could get killed for eating beef or hacked for being a blogger, Westerners (or those from first world countries) move into an environment where you could be deported …

#012: When I found love in a hopeless phase

I had been waiting for a long time to arrive at that special moment. It usually happens to people when they turn 18, for me I had to wait 27 years for the moment to finally arrive. I can’t deny I was a bit frustrated that it had taken so long, but sometimes you just have to wait. I spoke to a lot of people, to ask them what they look for when finding the perfect one, and the answers ranged from practical to purely superficial, the common thread between all of them though was that after considering all options, I would have to be the one to take the final call. That no one could help me in that final decision, because I would be the one living with it. And then one day… I spotted her. The first time I saw her, the thought that crossed my mind was ‘I think could like her.’ But I dismissed it quickly. After all she wasn’t what I was looking for, my family wouldn’t be very accepting …

2015 in Pictures

Since everyone in the whole wide world (WWW) is recollecting fond memories of 2015, I thought I might as well jump onto the band wagon. Here is a list of events from 2015 that made me ecstatic, took my breathe away or made me realise that life is in fact moving forward – one step at a time. The snow covered morning in Istanbul made me realise that I had come a long way from home. Although the trip did not go exactly as planned, I have a feeling it couldn’t have gone any better. A balloon ride on the birthday in Capadoccia, Turkey. Of all the ways that I had imagined to spend my birthday, this was never on the list, therefore I present to you serendipity at its very best. Although this picture in Pamakkule, Turkey looks absolutely breathtaking (if I may say so myself), the walk in the cold weather on uneven limestone deposits, the rain and the general discomfort are not visible in the image. Very similar to life I suppose, …

#011: THE REAL PERSON

If I ever had an elder sister, I would want her to be like Snehal… The first time I met Snehal was at a Toastmaster meeting, I don’t know if it was her warmth or the mention of the word Sanjeewan (a boarding school we both attended, albeit in different eras), but there was an instant kinship. She is caring, compassionate and fun, but her most distinguishing quality is the fact that she is real. She can accept a compliment just as gracefully as she can admit her mistake. Of course she can drive you up the wall when she cancels on your long standing plan, or when she is in one of her ‘disappearing from the social scene’ phases, but there is never permanent anger with Snehal. Try to talk it out with her, and there is that heartfelt apology (only if it is her mistake) and a sincere smile, that will make you wonder why you got angry in the first place. Unlike most people, Snehal does not portray a picture perfect life… …

The Frayed Ends of Friendship…

Remember when the two of you used to be best friends, and couldn’t wait to tell each other stuff. Maybe not everything, but the important stuff or the funny stuff or the heart breaking stuff. And now, you see each other, node politely, exchange a kind word or two, promise to catch up and then go your own merry way. How many friendships did you have that have now seen the same fate? Doesn’t it intrigue you to see how things have changed? Slowly one day at a time, change has crept up and certain equations that once were your lifeline, are now nothing more than weird, lets-behave-like-nothing-ever-happened moments. I remember being 21, back then if I lost a friend I would not be able to sleep for nights. It was like a calamity. Now, the older I get, the easier it becomes to move on, to let things be, instead of calling up and confronting people about what went wrong. A part of me says, that with age my ego and cynicism towards relationships …

Book Experience: The brown Brown!

Much like Dan Brown, Ashwin Sanghi weaves his intricate web of story lines along actual historical events and real places. Not only is the book entertaining, if you like history as a subject it is also quite informative. Ashwin Sanghi in that respect is the brown Brown! I chanced upon Ashwin Sanghi through sheer serendipity. The first time I heard of this author was when someone forcefully thrust a copy of The Krishna Key, his latest novel, in my hand.  In my head I was like, “Dude I have too many books to read already.”  The book then consequently went from dressing table to book shelf, when finally one day I was too lazy to get up and grab a book to read, and this was the only one I could pick without moving. The second time, I was having a reader’s block, and couldn’t really get myself to commit to any book (is this only me, or does this happen to other normal people too?).  Someone at the book club gave me a copy …