365 days in Kuwait

It was on 18 March, 2016, that I got on a Kuwait Airways flight, bidding goodbye to the few things I held dear to me in Bangalore. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t miss Bangalore much.

And I was right. All I missed of Bangalore (and how!) were my two tail-wagging angels, one whose angel I was, the dear brother and the lush-lush greens and lovely colours of my lovely (rented) house garden. Trust me, nothing more. I’ll get to that later.

Though I say these were all I missed, these were the very essence of my life, and leaving them behind was not easy. Uprooting yourselves from a place you’ve called ‘home’ for  over 8 years–and a country you’ve lived your entire life until then–to move to a new place for a new job and a new way of life can’t ever be easy.

It was not. Especially not in a place like Kuwait.

What can I say about Kuwait? Well, perhaps the same thing I keep telling people who ask me how I like it. That it’s not a bad place at all. That in fact, it is quite nice (contrary to the many stories I was ‘warned’ with, prior to my accepting the offer and moving over).

Just that it isn’t a place you want to be alone in. So, what’s there to like?

  1. Well to start with, there is a beach around almost every corner. How many times have I gone to one in the past 365 days? Once.
  2. This is a foodie’s paradise. Name any cuisine and you have authentic and spurious versions of both, across all price ranges. How many have I tried? Well, very few (those too, only as part of my job).
  3. This is a fashion lover’s heaven. Brands I’ve only read of in books/seen in movies, I see all over the place here. Clothes, shoes, bags, accessories… How many have I walked into? Very few, and for obvious reasons.
  4. There are quite a few “places to see”, which can keep you busy for at least a month, if you were to do one every day. How many have I done? Perhaps five.

These obvious stuff apart, if you have the will and the time, there is A LOT that Kuwait offers to keep you occupied and interested.

There’s theatre, there’s music, there’s art, there’s all kinds of community clubs and events, there’s a variety of sports, there are many museums, there are frequent concerts, there are shows and cultural/food festivals…there’s  just a lot one can do. And for the travel lover, great connectivity (and affordable travel) to a plethora of places, especially to several that are on top of my list!

Yet, so far, I’ve only done the music. Because while time is all I’ve had aplenty, I have not yet had the will. Don’t ask me why.

I spent a good part of the past year deliberating on whether or not I’m here to stay. Well, when I decided to move here, I’d come with a three-year plan. But within a few weeks of being here, I was very tempted to covert the 3-year to a 3-month plan 😀 But now, all that’s about to change. And for the good, I hope. The three-year plan is back…and is probably now a 5-year one.

And that will mark the end of my “life” in Bangalore, leaving me with absolutely nothing to miss about Bangalore anymore. Not the traffic; not the pollution; not the roads; not the fiery lakes; not (some of) the most horrible people I’ve come across in life. It was a place I first saw around the turn of the Y2K (anyone even remember that whole end-of-the-world is here phase? :P) It was a place I then went back to in 2005 and realised I was still in love with. It was a place I permanently moved to in 2007 and then hated for the next few years…and then when all else seemed lost, started liking again in 2012. It’s a place that I began looking at sadly as a classic example of “how to destroy an awesome city.”

It will always be a familiar place…a place where some of the best and worst things of my life happened. I hope, with Kuwait, that order reverses. I started off here in the wake of the worst year of my life 😛 About time it all became the best, and with no turning back.

About time I saw Kuwait with a whole new pair of eyes and a whole new heart! Oh, and two very happy tails!

Can’t wait! ❤

 

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Day 13: Phone like a baby…

If I have a principle in life I’ve stuck to for the past 32 years (OK fine…past 9 years, since the time they entered my life), it is to not spend over Rs 10,000/- for a phone.

My first phone was a Sony and I’ve been loyal ever since. Give how utterly butterly are my fingers, owing to which I drop everything way too often, one can easily put together the logic behind that life principle 😛 If I drop a phone and smash it to death, I don’t want to be weeping too much over it. And I do that a lot. The dropping, not the weeping.

In any case, the mobile phone and I aren’t the best of friends.

So yes, my first one was a Sony Walkman series the brother brought from Singapore. I fell in love with it. It was about Rs 10,000 in 2007, I think. It served me well. It was a tiny phone, sat snugly in my tiny palm. I used it for 4.5 years. It went through a lot of abuse — falling off stairs, being run over by a car, chewed on by Pumbaa Nayar and so on and so forth.

I bought the next one myself when the existing one begged me to kill it and give it a decent burial as well. That cost me Rs 10,000 or so. I used it for a few months. I lost it on a bus, when I went to Goa to do some serious thinking-by-the-beach about life’s complexities and human existence 😛 So, as soon as I got back to Bangalore, I bought the exact same phone for another Rs 10,000. Sigh. It served me well. It was a tiny phone, sat snugly in my tiny palm. I used it for almost 1.5 years. This one went through not as much abuse as the first one, but had its fair share of falls, scratches and dents (and a chip off as well, if I remember right).

Till it got kidnapped. Literally.

Someone who knew very well my deep-seated HATE for Samsung phones and surprises alike, gave me a terrible surprise by exchanging my much-loved Sony phone for a Samsung S4! Ugh! And, as if that wasn’t enough, gave it to me as an advance birthday gift (insult to injury) aaaaaand made me pay for it as well (vile abuses to insult to injury)! That one cost me Rs 45,000/-, of which Rs 6,000 was paid for with my dear Sony’s life. But since I was not the one that bought it, I continued to hate and never care about it. The damn thing fell once and died! I had to revive it since it was too new and I was still paying the damn EMI 😛 Then the damn thing fell again, and again, and again so many times. Till it died on its own in good time and I rejoiced! It was too big for my tiny palm, and would never sit snugly. Ugh. I hated it and I hated it so much! But I used it for 1.5 years and abused it so much so it would die soon and I wouldn’t feel so bad about throwing it in a dumpster. (Though I meant to exchange it and get some money out of the damn thing, it miraculously disappeared from my life – thank the Lord!) I don;t want to go into depth about the kinds of abuse this one went through, and I was always overjoyed 😛

I then again bought a Sony phone, this time for just Rs 8,000/- and was very pleased with myself. It was a tiny phone, sat snugly in my tiny palm. I meant to take good care of it, but on Day 2, it fell onto tarred road and got scratched all over. Sigh. And once there appears one scratch, the rest keep coming. I used it for over a year. (Hmmm…interesting trend of usage duration.)

And now, I have bought another Sony phone, which, for the first time, does NOT sit snugly in my tiny palm. It is longish, and looks lovely, with matt-finish edges and back and a shiny screen. And, it cost me Rs 16,000/-. Not at alll in line with my phone-related life principle! For someone sooooooooo not used to taking care of a phone, I have this urge in me to take good care of it and to keep it looking as good as new.  Two years later, I want to be able to “puthan aaittu iruppundu” (looks as good as new!) to someone who says that a lot 😉

I am extra careful about not getting any scratches on it. I keep it on soft surfaces always. At work, I lay it on a folded tissue paper, lest the backside gets soft scratches 😛 At home, it’s always on the bed (never ever on a hard surface).

And I am, therefore, in perpetual paranoia that I will drop it!  Utterly butterly still are my fingers, and since this doesn’t even sit snugly anymore, I’m super scared. Since when have I become so careful of a phone, I do not know, but I am. I searched all over here for a cover, but looks like they no longer have covers for Sony phones 😛 I think my only option is to get one of those very girly phone pouches. I’d rather die 😛 I checked on Amazon, but they don’t deliver to Kuwait. I’ll have to wait till end of December now. Sigh.

I live in paranoia the rest of the year. Unless it falls before that and gets that first scratch on it. Damn, I cannot claim the puthan aaittu irippundu dialogue if that happens!

I know very well that if this phone cost me only nearabouts Rs 10,000, I wouldn’t be so careful.

Secretly, I like the fact that I’m being as careful as I am now (am I growing up?).

And that’s because, ever since I came to Kuwait, my phone has become quite a close ally, one I’d be lost without 😛 😛 😛