Aaahhh! Memories ....

Do you know that we are going to have a trip to Al- Hokair next week? We had gone there before 2 years back .Chandana and I can describe our experience so well and vividly you would think it happened only 2 years ago. Anne has gone to India this year and joined a school there. We miss her but we still stay in contact through Gmail and Whatsapp. On the previous trip to Al-Hokair, her hands were overflowing with all types of goodies. She had cotton candy, a few roses, some packets of chicken popcorn and a wonky hat and was juggling all of them. She left to buy more but not before she gave me and Chandana two packets of chicken popcorn to hold. She wanted to take everything back home. But me and Chandana really didn’t get the part of “holding”. So we said a ‘thanks’, and were wolfing down chicken popcorn while watching people scream on a scary ride called Can-Can. It whirls around really fast and the rider’s seats also go way back, so for some time you can see their feet. We wav

Mansaf for dinner

As Dad opened the front door, I danced around him like an excited puppy. He had bought dinner and I was starving, which was probably my own fault. Mansaf We had a traditional Jordanian dish called  Mansaf , and it looked beautiful to me. It was delicious too. But Mom did not fall in love with it as much as I did. In December we are having our annual day, and nobody knows who the chief guest is going to be yet. I want to do a group song, so I am going for song selections. Since Annual days are important, the school timings are usually extended so that the participating kids can practice. This time, the timings have been extended from 12:40 to 1:00. Do you remember that Malaysia trip I told you about? Well, now it has been cancelled because very few people are going. So, we get to have a normal trip this year. Everyone is guessing that it will probably be to Al-Hokair again since most of us wanted to go there again. Besides, you don’t get cotton candy at Star City. N

3 movies and 2 books

A complete week of Hajj holidays has been over and now it is the second week. As Dad too has holidays for one week, he wakes me up every morning in a different way. One day, he shook me awake and sat next to me and kept talking until I forced myself out of bed. Another time, he placed the alarm clock under my bed. It did not wake me up, but instead it woke Mom.  I watched 3 movies this week- “ The Syrian Bride ”, “ Psycho ”, and “ Baran ”. After watching “Psycho”, I got a bit scared and never moved an inch away from my parents. But that was only for a day. “Psycho” is a classic 1960 horror-thriller movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It  wasn't  the plot, but the sudden-scary music that really got me. Seriously. Like ‘Scree! Scree! Scree!’ ‘‘The Syrian Bride’’ was full of suspense, mostly like “What’s going to happen? Will she be able to go? Huh? Huh?” “Baran” is very touching and sad, but it is funny also sometimes. According to Mom, I am now old enough to wat

Trip to Malaysia: A missed field trip

Our school, instead of usually taking us to theme parks or the rides at malls, has planned a 5-day trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   We were all like “WHAT??!! NOOO!! AAWWW!!!”  Our class was in a state of depression, confusion and anger. This was because of three reasons- A) We did not want to go somewhere alone for 5 days, without our parents. B) We already knew what the answer would be when we would go home. “NO”. C) We had just missed a field trip and now we would have to wait till next year. My Grandpa told me, “You are not yet old enough to go to another country alone, but we can always go together as family.” After seeing the movie “The Conjuring”, I avoided doors, closets, taking long showers, staying somewhere alone for more than 30 seconds, thinking about the scariest parts of the movie and a lot more. But that was only for a few days, thankfully. I was already getting tired of my father doing “Boo!” to me and me screaming. I was describing th

Bathroom raid - A humorous incident

We thought we saw her running into the bathroom with tear-filled eyes. That’s where Alaina, Linda and I went. When we entered we pounded on every stall, yelling “TERRIN! TERRIN!” Most of them were empty. In one of them, a girl who seem to be in third grade poked her head out and looked at us curiously. When we reach the last stall on the end, we banged on the door and said “Terrin, we know you’re in there. Come out.” A voice that sounded like Terrin’s replied. “There is no Terrin in here” Linda said “If you don’t come out, we will come in”. “I already told you, there is no Terrin in here.” I thought Linda was going to break down the door, but before she could, a girl, but not Terrin, looked at us and snapped “WHAT!?? We all screamed, Linda shouted a “Sorry!” and we ran out. I don’t think I’ve ever run this fast in my life. It was Maths class. I was the first to open the door and get in. I saw Terrin sitting there calmly and doing her sums. I wan

Horror movie at weekend party

The music got faster. But the scene was very slow. Slowly, then slowly from inside the TV - AAAAARRRHHH! The people watching the movie- AAAAAAAAGH! My classmates and I were at Faiza’s home, where we were watching “ The Conjuring ”. Out of the 17 people in the class, there were 9 of us lying on the bed and holding each other’s hands and screaming occasionally. Our other classmates had not been able to come. Originally, the party timings were 5-7:30 but everyone stayed till 9:30. We phoned our parents telling them we would be late. In one of the last parts, where some people with cameras come to record the ghosts, Rakshanda said “O cute guy, your youth should be not wasted. Try not to die. Please save your awesomeness.” Fortunately for Rakshanda, he did not die. Chandana was squeezing my hand. Sauda was squeezing my other hand. This meant that both my hands were occupied. It also meant, both my hands were becoming sweaty. After we finished half of the mov

Le Chateau, Riyadh - The Clown Restaurant

Out of all the restaurants I have gone, the weirdest one is definitely Le Chateau.  With a French name, Italian breakfast and Chinese menu, this is a very confused restaurant. The food here is just, okay. It’s not really great and it’s not too bad either. The restaurant looks really weird too. After seeing it, I took the opportunity to name it “ The Clown Restaurant .” Just yesterday we had our class assembly. I was for the poem. Nida was doing the anchoring. When it was my turn, my hands were shaking a little while holding the microphone. But I was able to recite the poem smoothly, giving little breaks and saying clearly. I just don’t know why my hands were shaking. I was not nervous at all. I am usually put for a song in an assembly. It was actually kind of the first time for me to read something out loud. A few days back, Chandana and I were in the library and we came across a fat book called “The Book of 5001 Jokes.” 1. Sherlock Holmes- I see you are we

Aargh!! Back-2-school after 9 days

After one more week, school’s going to reopen, which  means I have to get up early next week, which means  I don’t want to go to school, which means school is reopening, which means I have to get up early next week and ………blah blah blah. The days passed fast, like they always do when you are having a good time. And at school, time goes so slowly and every minute feels like a day. That’s just so…… cruel and……..unfair. These days, the book that most of my friends are reading is “ The Fault In Our Stars ” by John Green. Mostly because the book has been made into a movie which was showing at the theaters, and partly because it’s popular and partly because it’s now available in almost every bookstore. I read it too. Dad bought it for me at a store. It made me really sad at the part where (Spoiler alert) Augustus died and (Spoiler Alert) Hazel read the pages Augustus sent to Van Houton. On our way back from India, I watched “ Divergent ” in the plane, on the TV scre

Monsoon rains to blazing summer

When I walked in through my front door, the first thing I got was some heat blasted into my face. It was hot summer in Riyadh and with no air conditioning for more than a month, well, you can imagine how an ice-cream feels while melting. For the first two days, I was in a wistful and empty-in-the-stomach-with-nothing-but-sadness-and-vacuum feeling in me. But that night we ate out at McDonalds for dinner and when I saw the Chicken Deluxe I got, somehow I started feeling happy. I don’t know how. We had a lot of fun in India. When Kunjunni came over, my, parents, Kunjunni and I would sit in the balcony with Dad and Mom on chairs and me and Kunjunni with our feet through the railing and ask GK questions- “How many years do you think took to build that apartment?” “I don’t know. Wait! I think I know. Probably 2.6 years.” “Your turn now.” “Ok, Gandhiji’s riding on a scooter towards west. To which direction will his hair blow?” “I don’t know. Backwards?””

How to train your croods

This is another “Kunjunni and Janaki Together Written” blog . Also known as KJTW blog . Now, we start our story- Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived 5 children . Their names were Kunji chechi, Kunjunni, Janaki. Savithri and Shanku (age wise). Note- Kunjunni is only 6 and 8 months older than Janaki and Savithri respectively. Do not believe what he says about being a complete year older than them. Janu, you know I am sitting here. Well, yeah. Well, that’s reassuring. Now we start our reeeeaaalllll story- Yo, this is Janaki. And ya, this is my awesome cuz Kunj-unni here. Yo dudes, he wants to write this blog with me, I hope ya guys like this. Ok, back to reality . Reality . Reeeeaaaallllliiiiitttttty. Reality is sometimes boring. We like to be crazy. No, no, wrong. We are wild. Just like The Croods . Only thing is that we were born in the 21 st century. Not in the century when there were huge man-eating flowers, a guy called Guy

Kunji chechi's day-off

On this fine day, Kunji chechi has taken a break from school.  She has taken the day-off due to back pain. Therefore, Kunjunni gave her the evil eye when he left for school today. Poor Kunjunni. Kunji chechi had fallen down at the morning assembly. She said her friends had informed her that she fell down in a funny kind of way, like a “Tom and Jerry” style. Sadly, she was on the stage in front of the microphone , therefore when she slipped, the word “AAAMMMMAAA!!!!” echoed throughout the school. Kunjunni heard a familiar sound and that was when he realized it was his sister. 

Houseboat cruise in Vembanad lake

“Is that a hen?”  “Certainly not!” ”Then what is it, smarty pants?”  ‘’It’s a rooster!” “How can you tell?” “Look at the tail and also it has some more differences like --!’’ “Oh, shut up!’’ “You’re the one who asked!” “Will you all keep it down?!” “We are moving!” “No we are not, the other boat is moving, and you just feel like it’s us because you are looking at it.” “Look, the rooster is crowing!” “Told you, it was a rooster.” “Oh darn! I forgot to take my iPad!” We were all chatting, arguing and joking. Sitting on a comfy chair, I looked all around me. Savithri was sitting on another chair next to me, Kunjunni and Shanku were monkeying around, and Kunji chechi was admiring the view. We all were in the houseboat, by the way and the journey had not yet started. Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala, was beneath our houseboat. The boat, White Water Cruise , belongs to Savithri’s Valyachan and it was big and beautiful with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a living room

Nara Speaking!

This blog post is really special because it has been written by not just me, but also with my cousin Kunjunni. So, right now, Kunjunni is sitting next to me, pondering on what to write. He actually has never seen someone BWIA (Blog Writing In Action). Therefore, he is going to try it out too. Hi, I am Kunjunni here (also known as Narayanan, Rock star Nara , Detective Nara etc). A few days back, there was an exhibition held at my school, Chinmaya Vidyalaya . We had to prepare 2 charts and the topics were “History of music” and “Father of music”, Purandara Dasa .   As my friends and I were roaming around, we met Janu, listening carefully to a girl explaining about DNA. She said she would see our charts later as she wanted to check other things too. When we were admiring our hard work, our music teacher walked up to us and said “You have made a big mistake in one of your charts. Instead of writing about Purandara Dasa, you have written about someone else.” Oopsie. We h

Rainbows and elephants

As usual, whenever I come to India, I immediately notice the following changes every day; -       From cereals and sandwiches to idli, dosa and appam -       My waking-up-in-the-morning-timing from 8 in Riyadh to 9 in Cochin -       My confusion with Malayalam words increases by 10 per cent Also, the landscape affects me sometimes. I mean, when you look at Riyadh down from a plane, you see deserts and buildings with few trees and not a single river. But when I look at Kerala from a plane, all that I can see is green. Trees, bushes, herbs, shrubs, saplings and sometimes a snake-like river twisting itself and a spot on it indicating a bridge. Why am I talking about the landscape so much? You may ask. That is because a week back I was able to see a beautiful rainbow from the terrace of our flat, which is the 9 th floor. And even better, my cousins were there to see it with me. I, Savithri, Shanku and Kunjunni were standing there with the breeze slapping our faces

In the Land of Coconuts ...

It has been 2 weeks since I reached Kerala and we have had a family gathering, seen a movie and done some shopping. Unfortunately for me, my cousins’ exams are going on but they managed to squeeze some time to have a lot of fun with us. I, Kunjunni and Dad saw the movie “ How To train Your Dragon 2 ” at PVR and we enjoyed it a lot. Well, at least I and Kunjunni enjoyed. Dad never saw the first part so I don’t think he understood a lot. But in any case, the movie received loud cheers and applause at the end. Achamma (Dad’s mom) along with uncle Sujesh, reached Kerala from Bangalore the day after we reached India. So we had a family gathering with all our relatives, had a great time. Kunji chechi’s Fa-1 exams finished 2 days back and now she is a free bird. But for poor Kunjunni, his exams are finishing only tomorrow. His crafts teacher had told the class they needed to buy a pot and paint it. You get these materials in the store. So, the night before the Hindi exam

Birthday breakfast

I celebrated my birthday this week, we had a home-made English breakfast complete with bulls-eye, toast with cheese, beans, sausages, pancakes, grilled vegetables and breakfast steak. It was a small family celebration.  We had some goof ups but it was all okay. For instance, I was in charge of pancakes, so after they were done, they were thick and out of shape. I was going to say “Why on earth have you made the pancakes so tough?” when I remembered it was me who had made them. But thankfully, they didn’t lose their taste. And Mom accidentally spread cheese on her pancakes instead of butter.  The entire thing was planned by Dad and me. Yesterday we bought all the necessary things. We gave Mom a day-off and worked hard in the kitchen. At last everything was done and we had a hearty meal. In the aquarium at Dubai mall, they are bringing in two crocodiles . Jock the croc and his girlfriend Missy are going to arrive at Dubai in a specially equipped Singapore Airlines jumbo

Breakfast at Buffalo's

Dad took a right turn and I was surprised to see that he was parking the car next to Buffalo's , a southwest café and restaurant. We had never gone there before but it had been on our “List of must-go restaurants.’’ “Why are we stopping here?”I asked Mom as Dad got out of the car. “I thought we were going to have breakfast in IKEA.” “Um…we are. We just need to buy Dad some shoes from Crocs” came the reply. Dad returned after some time, and declared the shop was open. We got out and started walking and went inside a restaurant on the other side of the parking lot. That’s when I knew it was a surprise planned for me in the honor of my advance birthday. We settled down at a table and when the waiter gave us our menus, I noticed that instead of “Buffalos”, the cover page said “Basero”, which left me really confused. When I pointed it out to Dad, we looked out of the window and saw “Buffalo’s” on the other side. That meant we had come to the wrong restaurant! So, instea

Maharaja by Vineet at Riyadh!

“Do you know Vineet Bhatia is opening his restaurant in Riyadh?” Mom asked.  I was standing with her in the kitchen. “He is opening ‘ Maharaja ’ in September. It is beside Chilis.”  “Who is Vineet Bhatia?” I asked. “He is a famous chef of India. His cookery show comes on Travel and Living channel.” Mom loves watching Travel and Living.  They show a variety of places, steaks, ice-creams, sandwiches etc. But she does not want to experiment any type of different food. I would have protested against that but then I realized I probably would lose my love for those foods ;-)  Google is going to release self driving cars . Dad showed me this on Larry Page’s Google+. The bright side is that it would be really useful for old people and kids. The day when there will be only self-driving cars will be a great day. We will just have to ask parent’s permission and then we can go by ourselves to Baskin Robbins for ice-cream, or to a friend’s house or to the park or anything. An

India's new prime minister

This week has been really busy! Most of Mom’s friends have come to Riyadh from India because now it is summer vacation in India. Mom is so excited, that once she starts talking she almost never stops unless she notices me and Dad are not listening. Added to this she talks and laughs really loud too. Me and Dad sympathize about our neighbors. Seema aunty, Daliya aunty, Liji aunty, Shijitha aunty – we met all of Mom’s friends in these two weeks.  Uncle Rainson’s parents are in Riyadh. We had a great evening when they came over. Narendra Modi has now become newly elected prime minister of India. It feels kind of weird because I can only remember Dr. Manmohan Singh’s name for all these years as Prime Minister but now since Prime Minister has changed, I feel everything changed. I went for cluster meet tryouts of badminton and I could not get even one shot! I was so embarrassed. Usually I can play really well. Dad wanted to lose the weight he had always dreamt of los

Another busy weekend

“Next, we will go to NEXT ”  Mom said, grinning. My father and I chuckled. We were having a long day of all types of shopping. Dress and grocery shopping took a lot of time always. My FA-1 had finally finished and after 7 days of exams, I was ready to sit back and enjoy the weekend. But my Mom had other plans. We had to complete a load of shopping which we did over the 2 days. So when I went to school on Sunday, my eyelids were feeling heavy and I was ready to use the table as a bed and my bag as a pillow. Nobody seemed well in my class. Rabia and Sauda had headaches, some people had cold, and others were ready to go to sleep. I was suffering from all the above. There had been a sandstorm on both days of weekend, and we all had been victims.  So, last week and this week had and will be a total drag, according to my calculations. To make things worse, a rumor had been spreading that the FA-2 exams would be starting early. I was like “Just great!” Sunday is not exact