Chandana's party

Last  Friday, Chandana, my best friend threw a party. I, Anne, Daniya and Alaina (she is one of our classmates) were invited. Daniya is leaving Riyadh and going to India on May 9 th . We were all glad to hear she would be coming because Daniya was one of our best friends and we all loved her a lot. She was really sweet and kind. We would miss her. Anne was not able to come because she had to go somewhere, but all others came. When I arrived, Dania was already there and she was outside with Chandana and her father, waiting for me. We all began to chat excitedly. Chandana lived in an STC compound and there is only one word to describe it. It was HUMONGOUS!! It was a pretty neat compound, with a clubhouse, swimming pool and 4 parks. There were many villas. Alaina arrived half- an- hour late. When she came, Dania whipped out her camera and told us to stand together so that she could take a photo. We made funny faces in front of the camera and Dania was laughing so

Koshari Express

Last night, for dinner, we had an Egyptian dish. Can you guess which?  (Hint- It starts with “Ko” and ends with “shari” ) Of course! It was koshari ! It consisted of rice, macaroni, noodles, chick peas and lentils topped with small chicken pieces. The noodles were cut into pieces (some people might think this is a weird combination but it is not. ) It was delicious but kind of heavy and was a beautiful combination with a sauce like salsa. Some of Dad’s colleagues are Egyptians and sometimes they buy koshari , that is how we came to know about it. We had it from a restaurant called “ Koshari Express ”. We gobbled all of it up and washed it down with a bottle of ‘Mirinda’. I remember that 2 years back in 5 th grade, one of our teacher’s told us that Pepsi and other fizzy drinks were very harmful for us and they could cut our intestine. Well, that did the trick. Whenever we had Pepsi, I always gave it the evil eye and refused to drink it. My parents assure

Detective Nair

They say that time flies quickly, and I now reluctantly agree with them. I cannot believe that 2 weeks sped by so quickly! It seems like just yesterday I had finished my exams. Now there are only 4 more days as holidays, school is reopening on  Monday and is the beginning of 7 th grade too. My cousins are soooo lucky, they now have summer vacation for 2 months. Every morning Dad drops me at school and afternoon I come back by school van. Malaika, Marilyn, Faiz, Ravika, Abdul Aziz, and Nimisha are the kids in my van. Malaika is the eldest among us, she is going to be in 9 th grade now. One day Abdul Aziz (the youngest in our bus, he is going to begin the second grade), was babbling about how he went to the computer class, and when he came back to his class he found that somebody had stolen his pouch which had all his pencils and eraser in it, and how he was going to punch the face of the person who stole his pouch.  I tried to make him calm down. I whipped out m

Daniya's party

Remember that in my last post I told you that my BFF Daniya invited me to her party? Here is how it went…… We were to have dinner at Daniya’s house. I was really excited when we reached their home. We had parked our car outside a restaurant near their home.  Daniya and Anne came soon and we walked to their flat together. Daniya had worn a white anarkali and Anne had put on white pants and a black top.  They said I looked very different in my latcha, open hair and lip gloss. Anne said she came 10 minutes earlier than the time we were supposed to reach there. Daniya said, ”She came so early I was just putting on my eye shadow and I still had not combed my hair”. “I hope she was not scared when she saw you” I joked.    Chandana arrived 10 minutes after me. This time, all 3 of us went to meet her. She refused to remove her abayya, for some reason she felt embarrassed. I think it is because she usually wears traditional clothes like a skirt or latcha, but this time she was wea

End of grade Six

Yaaaaaaayyyyy!!!!!!!! I am sooooo happy! SA-2 (Summative Assessment) has finally finished. Now, there are 2 weeks stretched in front of me which I am going to spend by watching TV, playing games on the computer, reading books etc.  And of course, no studies. I am going to be in 7 th grade and I already feel so grown up. I can still not believe how fast time flew. Today, my BFF Daniya is hosting a party and I am also invited. She has also invited my other 2 best friends, Anne and Chandana. Since Daniya is leaving Riyadh and going to India, this is  a goodbye  party. The 4 of us are best friends and we always stayed together as a group. I love them all so much  J .   Daniya said we could wear a traditional dress so I am going to wear my mango-colored latcha. Anne said she would wear her churidhar, and Chandana planned to wear her half-sari. On the first day of the holidays, we went to AppleBees for dinner. Yum! Just thinking of the food served there makes me h

Dubai Diary - Day 2

I was still out cold in the morning of our 1 st day at Dubai and Mom woke me up at 10 am. Gradually, I knew I had to get up. Hey, I did not remember I was in Dubai that time!  “Let us order breakfast” Kochakka handed over a menu from “Palm Valley”. I and Mom pondered over the menu for some time. Mom’s suggestion was pepper roast. I was like “Not for me, I rather have a paratha!” Dad wanted idli and Kochakka, dosa. So soon I was gobbling down paratha, Dad was eating idli, Kochakka had dosa and Mom, her pepper roast.  It went like this for 3 more days. Mom joked that “don’t forget that we are going back to Riyadh and don’t expect all these from me” It was time to explore Dubai, I was very excited. Kochakka offered me the front seat, it was a real privilege. We first went for a drive, looking and admiring all the buildings and we were all excited to see the Burj Khalifa. It looked totally glamorous while sparkling in the sun and showing off its smooth, silver color.

Dubai Diary - Day 1

Are you wondering why I have not written for so many days??? I have 2 reasons…..                 1.      We went to Dubai for 4 days. Yaaayyyy!!!!                 2.     Exams are going on… After coming from Dubai, I had a lot of class work to complete so I was very busy. We had tons of fun in Dubai! We went to the aquarium, Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai etc.  Kochakka lives over there and we stayed with him. The night when we arrived at Dubai airport, Kochakka was waiting for us at the arrival.  On the way from airport, Mom said “Kochakka, take us to some interesting restaurant”,  “We are on our way” he replied.  Soon we reached at “Punjabi Dhaba”. They served good food and there were even some Punjabi dances and songs.  It was the first time I was going to such a hotel and I felt it very entertaining and interesting.  Kochakka took some photos of me standing with the dancers. There was a funny incident. When I went to take the photo, I totally forgot that I was

1 evening, 2 occasions ...

Thursday was a busy day for us, but busy in a good way. We had two occasions to attend, one was a 25th wedding anniversary and the other was a marriage. It was the first time we were going to a marriage in Saudi Arabia but all of us were happy, especially Mom since she loves occasions just like me.   Since we mostly get invited to marriages in India, I and Mom can only attend ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­one or two and we only stay for a couple of months in India. Wedding anniversaries are also a lot of fun.   The wedding anniversary was held at a restaurant called Al Nouras. They had delicious buffet.  What I loved especially was the chicken fried rice. Yum!!!  Too bad we could not eat a lot because we knew there was a marriage also waiting for us. Mom and Dad also thought that the food was awesome and they are thinking to go back to the restaurant again during a weekend. The marriage was held at a school auditorium. It was an interesting occasio

Happy 2013

“God, how fast the year went!” Mom was saying yesterday. She gave a glance at the calendar. “Today is the last day of 2012’’. She reminded me “Soon, you will be in 7 th grade.” Happy New Year! I would like to have a flashback of the events that happened in 2012. We went to India twice We had our flat’s housewarming Me and my cousins had a lot of fun I attended 2 marriages (uncle Prasanth ’s and Gouri’s marriage) Altogether, it was a great year. It was Kunjunni’s birthday on Saturday and I wanted to send him an email, but as soon as I opened my Inbox, a box popped up and Kunjunni had typed ‘Hi!’ So we began to chat. Eeshta, my former classmate who is now living in China, called me yesterday and wished me a Happy New Year.   My winter vacations are about to end and I have to go back to school next Saturday. I still have some projects to complete so I am going to be a little busy now.

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