The first kid to get The Third Wheel @ Jarir Bookstore!

The winter holidays have started and now I am totally looking forward to the whole of the two weeks that are stretching out in front of me. But there are many obstacles lying in front like the dozens of projects that I have to complete before the holiday finishes. Seriously, why do teachers have to give projects and holiday homework? It is almost like this in every vacation. I HATE HATE HATE CLASS PROJECTS! If I ever become a school principal, the most important rule will be, No holiday homework! ***** We went to Jarir bookstore today to buy some things that I needed to make my projects and besides, I also wanted to check if the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel had been released. We could not find it anywhere and I was a teeny bit disappointed because I really wanted to read it. Later I just took a few books, sat on a bench and began to read. I was halfway through Big Nate Goes for Broke (I love Big Nate) when Dad came over and said tha

Oscar for Valyachan - will the dream come true?

‘’ It is Valyamma” Mom said, handing me the phone. I spoke, “Hello?” No answer. I spoke again “Hellllooooo”? The next thing I knew, Dad was kneeling beside my bed and asking, “Janu, what is the matter?“ That was when I knew it was all a dream, except the part where Dad was asking me what happened. Anyway, I felt too lazy to answer him and soon, I was asleep. I think the reason why I had this dream is because last couple of days Amma and Valymma was always over the phone. I laughed out loud in the morning when I and my parents recalled the events that had happened previous night. Sometimes I do get confused between my dreams and what really happened. And one time my Dad thought that one of his dreams was real…. We were at Dammam for few days since my Dad had to go there for a business trip and we were all at our hotel and on the bed. Both my parents were out cold. I was just simply lying when Dad suddenly opened his eyes, sat up and examined himself. I wondered why

Children's problems

 “Papa! Papa! Where are you?” the little boy called. He wandered still calling out “Papa!” We had gone to Lulu and I watched a boy who was looking for his father. He was lost and looked close to tears. I decided to help. But he had already gone, still calling out for his father.  I felt sorry for him as he now sobbed a little while still calling.    I saw a news article that was also related about a child and his parents. It said… “ Two parents have been jailed for hurting their child in Norway. Apparently, the child had been burnt with a very hot spoon and also had been beaten by his parents badly. He had many bruises on his body and some burnt marks. They are Indians. The father has been jailed for 18 months and the mother for 15 months. ” I was shocked and astonished when I read this. I never imagined that a small boy could be hurt that much and that too by his own parents! My Dad joked that now he was very scared of me and he will try to not scold me aga

Jerry in my room

“The movie we are about to watch is a classic Iranian movie“, Dad said. He was talking about “ Children of Heaven ” The movie started and the three of us watched intently. It was a very touching movie, about 2 children who struggle with 1 pair of sneakers after a boy Ali loses his sister Zahra’s only pair of shoes.  They belonged to a poor family. Then Ali tries to win the 3 rd prize in a race because the 3 rd prize was sneakers. But he ends up winning 1 st prize instead.  We all enjoyed the movie. Dad told me a joke today. It was really funny. Look……. A family who did not know English very well went to London. In their room at their hotel, they found a mouse scurrying underneath their bed. The man called the front desk. Man – “Uh, hello” Manager – “How can I help you?’’ Man ( thinks for a while ) – “Um, you know ‘Tom and Jerry’? Manager ( surprised ) – “Yes sir” Man – “Jerry is here” I laughed aloud when I heard this. 

A funny incident

“Sit here.”  Jayshree Ma’am told this to a boy studying in the Nursery class. The boy did so, a sulky look on his face. Just then, a small girl came. It was her birthday, so she was distributing chocolate to all the teachers in the block. “Thank you” Ma’am said. She then started to give us some advice about the test the next day and kept her chocolate on the teacher’s table. The boy looked at chocolate for some time and then, when Ma’am faced the blackboard, quickly shot out his hand and took the chocolate. “ Hey, that is not for you!” ma’am snapped. She had seen him do that. “ Keep it back.” He did it, a sullen look on his face. He did the same thing again but he was still not so fortunate. By this time, we were snorting and trying not to laugh. ‘’Do you know why you are here?” she asked him. “It is because you are a very naughty boy and you keep hitting other children. A complaint has come about you and I brought you here so that you would not be able to bea

Trip to Al Hokair Land

“Aaaaaaaagh!!!!” Screams filled the air as the “Hollywood” rotated. “I don’t know whether these screams are of joy or being scared.” I told Chandana. Chandana just shrugged. We were at Al Hokair Land yesterday. When the ride stopped everybody on it got off. “ Our turn!” I said in glee. We both climbed on it and pulled down the restraint. Manasi and Chandana were on either side of me. “How was the ride?” I asked Rabia who had already tried the ride and was watching us “It was scary but awesome!” Rabia yelled.  “Your legs will be flying off the seat.” I think me and Chandana would have jumped out if the ride would not have started then. I mean, sometimes scary rides are not really my thing. Chandana felt the same way too. The ride began to go up then to the right and down fast, Rabia was right. All the 15 girl’s legs were now swing in the air. We started to scream since we all felt like we were about to fall off. I poked my head through the middle of the restraint and

How 'bout a cheetah cub as Diwali gift?

I can’t believe this!!!  We are going to have Thursday classes in school!!!! Noooo!!! (For those who do not know about Saudi Arabia, here the weekend is Thursday & Friday.) My Thursday schedule is to sleep and get up late and then study after half an hour.  Afternoon I have to go to my drawing class at 5. Dad said that we would protest against this, so I am not going to attend this Thursday class.  But when we saw the circular that said our field trip is on next Sunday, it lifted our spirits up.  Oh, and Happy Diwali!! Tomorrow we have a holiday because of Diwali. And on Wednesday we are also allowed to wear colour dress.  Yaaaaay!!!!!!! I am so excited. Dad had subscribed National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler’s magazine and National Geographic Kids magazine for me. In one ofthem the following line was written; ‘Cheetahs remain highly fashionable in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, where a cub can fetch upwards of $10,000. A rich, young man

No more Zzzzzz..... back to school

Today is the last day of Hajj holidays, Oh noooooooo!!! I wonder how lousy my classmates must be feeling. I now find it difficult to wake up even at 10:30 .I just keeps on sleeping till its 11:30. Then how am I going to get up at 6:30 from tomorrow???? I can sleep even if there is an alarm next to me. One day Dad set up an alarm clock under my bed so that I would immediately wake up at 9:30. It didn’t work out, though. Still, I am excited to see my friends. I saw a lot of movies these holidays. Some of them are Megamind , Ella Enchanted , Enchanted , The Black Stallion , Corpse Bride , etc. Dad looks jealous when he watches me sleep for a long time while he has to get up early to go office. But he seems happy that both of us can leave home together from tomorrow. Morning Dad drops me at school and I reach home by school bus.

'Zucchini' lunch at Steak House

“I think it’s better if I order” Dad said. He tore his eyes away from the menu.  We shrugged “Ok’’. “I will select something healthy too” said Dad, and then studied the menu carefully. We were sitting at a table at the restaurant ‘ Steak House ’ and were wondering about what we had to order. After 5 minutes, he motioned a waiter to come near. “We will go for some grilled vegetables, and the country fried chicken dinner… Oh and the black rock steak” Sometime later, the waiter brought us a large plate of grilled vegetables. “This is the healthy food you ordered?” I asked. Dad nodded. “Since we liked grilled vegetables from Smoke House, we will like these too. There will be different varieties of vegetables.” I poked my fork around the plate and ate 2 mushrooms and then stopped eating.  I felt I had enough vegetables, so I waited for the chicken. “There is only zucchini mostly. And it’s accompanied with only about 4 mushrooms, 3 carrots and 1 tomato. Do they

Weekend at Al Khobar

“Vrooom Vrooooooom”, Dad turned the key and the engine came to life with a start. Since it was Hajj holidays and Dad also had 5 days holidays, we decided to go Al Khobar. It was a great day and the weather matched perfectly with our moods. It was neither hot nor cold. October was certainly a great month. Sometime later, we were far from the city and the car sped along the Riyadh - Dammam highway.  The highway cut through the desert until we reached Dammam. It had smooth golden sand which did not have a single foot- print on it. There were some sand-dunes too. Camels or the “ship of the desert” grazed at the areas where there were patches of grass here and there. Finally when we reached Khobar, we became a little more joyful since we had sat for 4 hours in the car. We were simply longing to stretch our legs. Our hotel was called the Tulip Inn Sea View . It was a 4-star hotel, but not so good like we expected.   I went straight into the bedroom and drew the c

Dinner at Awshal restaurant

As usual our Thursday evening started with a discussion of where to go for dinner.  It was a hard choice. “You have 3 options” Dad said, “American, Indian or Arabic food”. “No Indian food tonight” Mom said. I added “No Arabic too”, Dad laughed.  “Why don’t we go to Awshal, the restaurant which I told you about?” Dad suggested and we agreed. We ordered seafood grill and bar-b-q. Altogether it was yummy. I wanted to end dinner with chocolate mousse as desert, but unfortunately it was not available today. In my last entry I wrote that I was going to beautify my hand. Yes, that’s exactly what I did. Last night I put on nail polish and mehndi on my palm. Today I did another design on the back of my hand.   I must say, it is beautiful. Thank goodness for the computer. Yesterday, I found something interesting in my new edition of National Geographic magazine which is a magazine for kids. It said: “If you eat cheese after every meal, it actually

No more floral designs

Yaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two weeks of holidays, starting from tomorrow! The Hajj holidays are stretching out for two weeks so I have a lot of time to play. Lovely!! But that doesn’t mean that we can always fool around. I have to do Maths holiday homework and also learn for the FA-3 next month. But on the first day of the holidays I never study. Today I am planning to beautify my hand with mehndi and nail polish. Yipeeee!!! The only problem that I have every time is that I can’t get a good design in my head. So usually I end up drawing a flower and decorating it with dots. When I was younger, I would draw a lot of crazy and weird shapes on my hand. These included a flower, some lines, dots and circles. Now I am planning to look for easy mehndi designs with the help of my trusted computer. 2 weeks back, Mom’s old college friend, Uncle Anish visited us. Actually he had an important meeting in Riyadh and that’s why he was able to meet us. Mom was

Will the new school be cool?

“Who knows Hindi very well and would like to be in the Hindi skit?” Our school’s putting on a Hindi skit. I am not good at speaking or writing Hindi, so when the teachers came to our class and asked that question I didn’t say anything. Even though many of my classmates know Hindi since most of them are from North India, only 2 girls got up, their face beaming. I am a little nervous to be on stage anyway, I mean God knows if whether I will make a mistake or anything like that.   But the good thing about the skit was that we got some free periods. On Wednesday we got a free period from Hindi and art. Our school hasn’t shifted till now. But I do feel a little curious about the new school. Will it have a ground? Will it be spacious? Will it look boring? Many questions filled me even though I knew nobody would be able to answer them without seeing the school first. My friends are a little curious like me too. We don’t know when we are shifting and that is such a bo

Onam and Kochakka's housewarming

I was dreaming that time. “Wake up” Mom was saying. Suddenly I felt that someone was pushing me. I opened one eye to find that Mom was really waking me up. I dragged myself out of bed. It was second day of Onam. Kunjunni and Kunjichechi had made me promise that before they went to school, I had to reach their home to make the pookkalam (floral carpet). So, I quickly chewed my food, and washed it down with a glass of water. 2 mins later, I rode down in the lift and skipped across the road to Valyamma’s home. Over there, we plucked some leaves from the garden because Valyamma had already bought the flowers. Then we drew the pattern on the ground with a chalk. We carefully filled the design with the flower petals and leaves, laughing and chattering all the time. We were feeling happy and great. But we were also sad because the next day I was going back to Riyadh. Valyamma gave me some flowers so that I could make the pookalam in front of my house too. When I reache

Holiday Infection :(

Even though I have written in some of my entries that Riyadh was boring, there is also one reason I like about it. That is because of Saudi National Day!!!! Saudi National day is on 23 rd September, which is near the weekend. And here the weekend consists of the days Thursday and Friday. So, we get Saturday and Sunday as holidays too! How cool is that?! Saudi National Day is celebrated because it is the day King Abdu Aziz Al Saud in 1932 concluded the unification of the country. At first I and my classmates thought that Sunday would be the only day we would get holiday. We were like” Oohhhh Noooooo!!” But then when we got the slip that said we actually had 2 extra days’ holidays, then pandemonium! Now I am sitting at home, writing this and stuck with eye infection. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Dad had eye infection too a few days back and I think that now I got it from him!! Why should I get eye-infection right at the beginning of my holidays?? It’s not every day that S

Mom's friends

“Ring ring……….ring.’’ Mom picked the phone and spoke into it. “Hello, who is this? ………Sreedevi??!!!  Is that really you? Ok fine we will be there in a minute!!” Mom put down the phone and looked at me with excitement. The next thing I knew, I was on my feet and was sent flying to the bedroom to change. When we were waiting outside the flat to catch an auto rickshaw I asked Mom what had happened. She said that her old college friends Sreedevi and Susan were waiting for her at Oberon mall.   At Oberon Mall, Aunt Sreedevi and Aunt Susan were waiting for Mom with open hands. Mom hugged them happily. I was very happy to meet Aunt Sreedevi, because she is a regular reader of my blog and keeps sending me encouraging comments. Aunt Susan’s children’s names were Steve and Stan. Steve is in the 7 th grade while Stan in the first grade, they live in Kuwait. Aunt Sreedevi also had 2 children, Pooja and Tarun. Pooja and I chatted a lot and I learnt that she is in the

Manakad - a memoir by 4th generation

“……… you are the 4 th generation of Aandiyathu" Dad finished  saying.  I blinked. Dad was telling me about his ancestral home at Manakkad.  He told me that I am the 4 th generation of Aandiyathu. Apparently, my great-grandfather lived in that house, then my grandfather, Dad and now me. Dad told me about the times he and his cousins, aunts, uncles used to go to the river during the holidays and bathed and played there. I imagined Dad in his underwear, jumping into the river, while his aunts watched and washed their clothes and his cousins and uncles all swimming with him. Some of them were expert swimmers, like Sarada Chitta, who used to carry uncle Sujesh on her back across the river. “Aaaaahhhhhhh, memories” Dad said dreamily. There was no doubt that he was remembering his babyhood, childhood and olden days. I tried to remember my days there.  For example, like the times we went to the river. When I was a lot more younger, I used to be scared of the fi

Aunt Gouri, Aandiyathu home and London

The main 2 reasons why we left to India early were;                                 -  Aunt Gouri’s marriage                                 -  Housewarming of our new home These 2 things happened in just 1 week. Aunt Gouri’s marriage was FUNtastic! This means fun and fantastic. Me, Dad and Gopichan were standing down at the front of the hall, receiving guests. Mom was with Geethama, helping aunt Gouri to put on her makeup. The sadya was great and all our relatives were there. My cousins Kunjunni, Kunjichechi, Savithri, Shanku, Madhavan and Keshavan were also there. My cousins and I went up to a balcony which was in the hall itself and we sat there comfortably and watched everything. Though I was kind of disappointed that since I was sitting at the balcony I would not be able to throw flower petals…………  But in any case, the marriage was a blast!!!!!!!!!!! We did our flat’s housewarming that following week and then after some weeks our house was fully furnis

Yippee!! I met Shiny Ma'am

One of the happiest things that happened to me when I went to India was bumping into my 4 th grade class teacher, Shiny ma’am. Me, Mom, Appupan (grandpa) and Ammuma (grandma) were shopping at Nucleus mall . Appuppan, Ammumma and Mom were packing some vegetables in plastic bags. I was just standing near them when I saw Shiny ma’am. I was astonished to see her and then she noticed me and she looked surprised too. But wait!!! Before I go on, I better tell you about Shiny ma’am. Shiny ma’am was our 4 th grade class teacher. She was like, the best teacher ever. She was funny and really kind.  Sometimes she would tell us exciting information. When we were in the 5 th grade we still talked about her. Later her husband got transferred and they had to go to South Africa. We all were really sad and upset, including her. So seeing her at Nucleus was really exciting. I ran towards her and we hugged. Ma’am‘s sister and Mom was also there. My Mom first looks surprised, and t

It happens only in Kerala..

Hello everyone, I am back! Did you miss me? I went to India for 3 months and had a blast with my cousins and friends. Since my cousins Kunjunni (also known as Rockstar Nara ) and Kunji chechi (sister of Rockstar Nara) lived nearby they came over every day! And guess what? I saw 6 movies which are Thattathin Marayathu , Ustad Hotel , Madagascar 3 , Batman -The Dark Knight rises , The Amazing Spiderman and Ice Age 4: Continental Drift . All 6 of them were superb, exciting and funny. We just arrived today from the “Land Of Coconuts” and we were exhausted. We had hardly slept for 4 hours because our flight was overnight. Our ears popped when the plane took off and landed and it hurt a lot too.  We had ordered 25 books from FlipKart and Valyamma had bought a few for me, so I spent most of the days reading. My cousins Savithri and Sanku came all the way from Alappuzha to Thrippunithura and stayed with us for some days and we brought the house down with our noise. It