Couch potato weekend

Exam week was upon us, and now it’s over! This officially marks the end of all the FA’s of ninth grade. It also marked the beginning of the weekend where I did nothing and acted like a total couch potato. Now all that’s left is the SA-2, and then curtains closed on this year. On the recommendation of my friends, I read the ‘ Wings ’ series by Aprilynne Pike . It was pretty great. Out of the four books in the series, “ Illusions ”, the third book, was the best. When the gang discovered Yuki was a winter faerie, I was like “Oh my god!” My parents and I watched the movie ‘ True Grit ’ yesterday. I liked the way the actress who played Mattie delivered her lines, for it was flawless and clear and her voice was perfect for the lines she spoke. TaylorSwift stuns everyone with her new music video ‘Out of the woods’! When the trees came up on the beach and formed the letters ‘Out of the woods’ that was totally sweet! Although from what I garnered from the video, T-Swift likes

You don't miss the school, do you?

I wish to convey this simple message to all parents- when your child says ‘I miss school’, he/she means that they miss their friends, the regular fun and their favorite teachers. Not the school. Because eventually, this simple line can backfire, when your parents make the mistake of thinking you miss the studies, the waking up early in the morning and the exams. News Flash: ‘ The Conjuring- Part 2 ’ releases on June 10 th ! I nearly fainted when I saw the news yesterday. I rather go bungee jumping, or parachute diving, or surfing with sharks, if it means I can stay out of the way of all creepy things possible. Of course, I applaud Valyamma and Valyachan for their bravery, for they saw ‘The Conjuring’, at the  theater , in 3D. If it had been me, eventually I would have been found lying on the ground yelling “MAKE IT GO AWAY! MAKE IT GO AWAY!” ­ Actually, since it being so scary, no one below the age of eighteen was allowed to watch the movie at the  theater . I find i

Happy New Year

2016 is finally here! I woke up at 7:45 today, since I knew the New York ball drop would be live on CNN at about 8. And yes, it was worth getting up early in the morning [FUN FACT- Over a million people see the ball drop in New York while a billion watch it live on TV. I’m in the billion.] Quick facts on 2016- 1) Its a leap year, meaning, it’s a lucky year for anyone who was born on February 29 th . 2) The Olympic Games are to be held in Rio. 3) I don’t really have a third fact. Let’s compromise with the above two. My parents and I watched ‘ The Good Dinosaur ’ last night. It was okay, like, 3 stars out of 5. The dinosaurs looked kind of like rubber. The first day of the year, January 1 st , is always the best day. There’s just that feeling that there are so many things to look forward to , like birthdays, festivals, holidays, vacations and more. Then again, there are the New Year resolutions. I never make New Year resolutions because, well, I don’t s

Winter vacation, big hero ...

It’s been a week into the winter vacation, and I have one more left. Dad makes it a point to wake me up every morning. Switching on the lights and creating all kinds of noise is the new way of making me roll off my bed and walk sleepily with my eyes closed. I still can’t believe 2015 is just a few days away from being over. I feel this year ended waaayyyy too quickly. There are so many things that happen at the beginning of every new year. It’s like tradition- I will write 2015 on my notebook next year, then realize what I did, and try to convert the 5 into a 6. Then when I start 10 th grade, I will write IX-B, realize what I did, and cross the extra line out. Then, I will tell everyone I study in ninth grade, catch myself, and say tenth. I watched “ Big Hero 6 ” a few days back. I had missed almost every opportunity I had to see it till then, so, I felt triumphant at the end. “Big Hero 6” is one of the many movies where it is absolutely embarrassing to te

My sports career

This week has been a very busy one. On Sunday the juniors had their drill in advance for sports day, Monday and Tuesday were Sports Days, Wednesday (I stayed at home and slept till 11) was the talent show….. It’s been the most exciting week by far. And guess what? Starting this Sunday, we have two weeks of winter holidays. Holidays, in my opinion, is the best word in the English dictionary. (Well, second best. Food comes first. Exam comes last). Anyway, we had our march past yesterday. After winning the last year’s competition, I was hoping the same would happen this year as well, so I stepped in. There was a long queue of students trying out for the march past. But it was mostly the students who got selected last year that were selected this year. Mainly because no one could master the perfection of marching as we could (I discovered marching for a few days sticks for a long time. Even after the march past competition was over last year, I marched everywhere without r

Looking for Nando's in Riyadh?

Update:  Great news! Nando's has finally come to Riyadh! It’s not Nando's, but it’s the next best thing- Veri Peri Portuguese Grill ! Dear readers, you know the passionate love for the restaurant ‘Nandos’ that my family and I hold ever since we tried it for the first time in London when I was six  years old.  After we reached Riyadh, Mom searched the Internet for Nandos. No luck. Nandos didn’t exist in Riyadh. But then BAM! 6 months back, Veri- Peri Portuguese Grill started itself about a mile away from our home. We tried it out for the first time today. Can I just say it was TAS-TY.  And it’s already popular. The restaurant was teeming with people when we got there. Just like the menu said, the chicken was juicy and had our favorite Peri-Peri sauce.  The chicken is soaked overnight with the sauce which is why it’s so delicious . If you are a Nando's lover living in Riyadh (hi-five), this is the place for YOU.

Rainy Week

Finally, finally , my FA-3 exams got over. It felt like I’d been having them for a year. Last week was a rainy week. After the first two exams, everyone was texting each other of how there was a 99.9% chance of there being a holiday the next day. Our class Whatsapp groups were the most active. Where normal people would wish for the rain to stop, everyone in Riyadh was begging for a thunderstorm, some lightning, hailstones, or any other freakish weather phenomena, just to stay home from school. Some people had contacts with teachers as well, so they were kind enough to keep us updated. “Hey guys! Our math teacher just told me that we have a holiday tomorrow! Wheee!!!” “Really, are you sure?!!!” Then a screenshot of the conversation would be sent, and everyone would change their Whatsapp status to something regarding the blessing of the rain. An hour later, the principal’s message would reach our phones, and that would be circulated around the Internet. This

A day as a classroom monitor

‘Excuse me; can I go to the toilet?’  A third-grader asked me. I nodded my head and he left the classroom. I was watching over the boys’ class of 3 C, as to the request of one of my teachers. I had already done this sort of thing few times before, so it was nothing new to me.   Usually, I’d drag one of my friends along, but this time it was just me. This was fun actually; all I had to do was stand there and watch the kids, interfere if there was any problem, occasionally raise my voice and tell them to sit down and lower the volume, threaten to call the teacher if they still wouldn’t settle down. Of course, childhood memories never leave us either. When you look around and see small kids crying for the littlest of things, or fighting with someone else because one guy called the other a fool and that was one of the biggest, meanest words that the child has ever heard, you’ll finally understand how annoying you might have been at their age. I can still remember, when, a

Movie Time

 I watched a total of four movies in India this time- ‘ Inside-Out ’, ‘ Jurassic World ’, ‘ Premam ’ and ‘ Ant-Man ’.  They were amazing. But one notable mention is ‘Jurassic World’, which kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I hope one more movie comes out! I have watched all the ‘Jurassic’ movies and they get better every time! Raaawwrrrr!!! What I like about them the most is the suspense. One minute you give out a sigh of relief, next minute you’ll be screaming, and running like Usain Bolt from a hungry dino! Woo-hoo! Except ‘Premam’, I watched all the movies with Kunjunni and Kunji chechi, so it was double the fun. Kunjunni really wanted to see ‘Ant-Man’. But all I could say was ‘Seriously? Ant -Man?’ “It has a high rating.” “It’s going to be lame.” “You can decide that after the movie’’. In the end, I loved it. I declared that while we were leaving the  theater  and got a smug look in return, plus, an ‘I told you so.’ In fact, if there is a sequ

The Mehandi Designer

Well! Our vacation in India flew past and here I am again! As usual, vacation was a blast. This was our evening schedule- Kunjunni and Kunjichechi would come over regularly every evening. When it would be time for dinner, Kunji chechi would make a beeline for the kitchen. She would be the one to flip the chapattis for she really loves to cook. At 8, everyone would make themselves comfortable in the living room. Then we would watch “Sell Me the Answer” until the show ended at 9, which was the time Kunjunni and Kunji Chechi would get shooed away by Granddad to go home. Mom and I would watch them cross the street to their home and then wave to them from our window. Everything went on like this for a few weeks. When we went shopping for groceries once, I spotted mehandi cones and bought one. I like putting on mehandi and I rarely find good quality cones too, so this was a golden opportunity. When I had put it on my palm and showed it to Kunjunni, he was intrigued. Kunji c

Summer of 2015

Phew! So the FA-2 exams are finally over! The last exam was yesterday. Now, its officially time for summer vacation. Mom and I are going to India tonight and Dad’s coming later. Last week was really hectic so I’m looking forward towards the vacation. Kunjunni has already taken leave from school so that he can greet us at the airport. Kunjichechi’s first year at college starts in August, and since she was not able to spend much time with us last year due to studies, this time she plans to  be at our home 24/7. My grandparents are eagerly waiting for us as well. So it’s clear everyone is excited. We’ll reach tomorrow morning at 9. That’s always what I like; reaching India in the morning. You can start off with the new day instead of the time when you reach there at night, and everyone nags you to go to bed even though you are not sleepy and want to do something else.  Nanditha’s plane was today too, only hers was at noon and mine’s late night. Her flight had got postponed an

Heidelberg Diary (Heidelberg Tagebuch)

Oookayyy, it’s been a pretty long time since I have posted anything and sorry for that. 9 th grade has been taking control of my life so I have barely time to breathe.   Heidelberg looks straight out of a Disney movie. An old castle, river, vintage   bridge, scenic hills, churches,  paved streets - everything together added up to its beauty. I was pretty sure this was the ultimate place for all poets of the world.  We stayed at Goldener Falke . It was right in front of a square with several shops and cafés, and a fountain with a statue of Hercules on top. The hotel was interesting and cool. There was a majestic view of castle outside the window. After getting refreshed and having our breakfast, we set out to explore Heidelberg. Our hotel was very close to the Heidelberg castle. We could see the castle from anywhere. I soon noticed that we had no trouble finding our hotel and that it was in the perfect spot. Somehow we always wound up in front of it. We felt like Fe

German Diary (Deutsch Tagebuch)

I put down my headphones and observed everyone around me. Mom was sleeping with her mouth open and Dad was nodding off.  I had just watched ‘Night of the Museum 3’ on the TV in front of me, and I gotta admit, it was kinda lame compared to the first two movies. As the plane touched down, I quickly put in my earplugs and felt the pressure on my ears. I looked out of the window and saw Germany’s surface. Mom, who was now awake (and had quickly closed her mouth) looked out with me. Dad’s project had won an award from SAP and the award ceremony was to take place at Walldorf .  So Mom and I came too and we decided to stay in Heidelberg for 5 days. As we neared the exit of Frankfurt airport, I saw someone holding my name. Boy, was I surprised! I mean I have seen plenty of people do that, but for me…… awesome! Germany was amazing; in fact it was beautiful. It’s like how you see in those movies; lush green trees on both sides and then later endless green fields stretching on a

New year, new friends ...

Hi everyone! School reopened on the first of April after 2 weeks of fun-filled holidays. Now it’s back to school. My classmates and I are now officially in 9 th grade! Both the ninth grade girl’s sections have been combined to form one section, 9B. So in the morning, when I reached class, I found everyone sitting separately; former 9D (my classmates) in a row, the other girls in another row. So our now-class teacher, Namrata Ma’am said that she will have to shuffle us in order to make us ‘mingle’. Namrata ma’am is pretty and fun, and she taught us social studies last year, so we already know her well. We did not receive our books on the first day. The day of receiving books is always torture.   It involves carrying a set of heavy books in your bag, and another 2 books in your hands(for the fear that the school bag will tear open), and walking down 2 floors of stairs to the ground floor, and trying to find your bus in the sizzling heat. After that, at home Moms are

Swimming at Al Manahil

Are you itching to turn on the AC? Do you need a break from the sun? Are you getting a tan INSIDE the house? Not to worry! Al Manahil Fitness centre is the place for YOU! Here we are provided with all facilities for those who wish to become thinner, lighter, muscular and healthier! And also, to break away from the heat and sweat, go for a jump, a dive and a swim in the pool. This is the place I went to yesterday since I was dying for a swim. The blue of the water blinded me and the place itself made me stand in awe. It’s a really lively place, only for women though. I usually go during the vacation. I learned swimming in the second grade and take every opportunity to swim. I had trouble swimming the first few laps, but after that, it was a breeze. In the shallow part of the pool, there was a swimming class going on for the little kids. Dad waited outside till we were done. I was starving, so we went to get a few bits to eat.  

Weekend party at Rabia's home

Last night was a night of fun. Rabia held a party at her home and about 8 of us were able to attend.  Technically, Rabia’s mom is our biology teacher, Ayesha ma’am. And since whenever we go to parties we always say ‘aunty’, it was kind of confusing. Rakshanda suggested ‘Manty’ (Ma’am+Aunty) but that wasn’t going to fly. We had soup as a starter, pizza as dinner and Baskin-Robbins as dessert. When it comes to ice-cream, BR rules. We joked around for a while, listening to music and texting the others who hadn’t been able to come by trying to make them feel guilty for not coming. It wasn’t hard. Time seemed to fly by. Chandana and I had to leave at 9:30 and we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the clock. We requested our parents to come at 10:00 instead. Dad sounded grumpy but was fine with it. Overall, we had a lot of fun, and it was nice to spend some time together. Especially, since we still had more than a week of holidays left and a lot more fun to look

Goodbye, Grade VIII

Since the term-ending exams are over, its goodbye grade 8, and he-llo grade 9! We had a class party and we got all our marks today. Now, it’s 2 weeks of undisturbed holidays. The class party was awesome and we feasted on cupcakes, pizza, donuts, pakodas, garlic bread, noodles, chicken sandwiches, kheer and cinnamon rolls. Rakshanda shook the Pepsi bottle, and when she removed the cap, she got sprayed. This morning, when I was on the stairs, I met our library teacher, Yamuna ma’am. She asked me to meet her in the library after a few minutes. When I did she handed me something in gift wrapping. On opening it in class, we found that it was a really pretty purse. I had donated 100+ books to the library this year. We all felt that 8 th grade had gone way too quickly, but it was also one of our best school years. It was hard to believe one full year had gone by. Now again, new teachers, new books, new friends. Especially when we heard the fact that there would not be a 9-D,

The Disneyland Experience

The exciting Paris tour ends with a final stop at Disneyland! Fasten your  seat-belts , ’cause you are going on the ride of a lifetime! Let’s go to the Walt Disney Studios Park, where there are only few rides but many theatres. In one theatre they even show you the birth of a character (Hi Mushu!). Go have a look at Cinemagique, where the characters come to life. Don’t miss the tram tour where you can see some artifacts from movies, experience an earthquake and see movie sets (Please keep your arms and legs inside the tram at all times). Scream as much as you can in Monster’s University. There are more stuff you can go to but the line’s too long so keep moving and reach the Disneyland Park. Disneyland Park has plenty of rides for you. The famous Sleeping Beauty castle slowly comes in view as you walk in awe. First let’s introduce you to a ride where you can learn about Pinocchio’s life (No flash photography allowed). Meet Pinocchio, the star of the

2 Pizza Parties

The First Pizza Party (FPP)- Status - Feeling frenzy, feeding frenzy Host/Hostess - My good friend, Linda Message for Linda - My dear friend……..I just wanted to tell you that, *feeling emotional* you threw a party that mainly consisted of my favorite food, pizza, *sob* and I am so sorry. I was the culprit. I ate 3 slices of the pepperoni pizza that there was barely any left. I am so sorry! Linda threw a pizza party at Pizza Hut. She was working hard to get everyone what they wanted and for that I just love her. It was an open table, so 12 of us were chatting so loudly and so much that the manager had to shush us once. Twice. Thrice. Then through gritted teeth, he kicked us out of the dining area after we were done and told us to ‘sit quietly’ in the waiting area. But luckily that was AFTER we took tons of pictures on our phones, went to the bathroom to take selfies, ate too much, sat in the next empty booth and took a new round of selfies, and drove the other custo

Walking-Talking Wikipedia Mom

Mom was extremely excited about going to France and she had spent lot of days finding information and must-sees. We prepared a long list before going, so that every day went according to schedule. A day at Disneyland. A day of bus-tour. A day at the Palace of Versailles. More and more. The day we went to the museum we took a cab. Dad said ‘Louvre musee’ in 50 different ways ( Loove museum? Lure museum? Loovi museum???!! No?!)  till the driver got hold of the idea. He dropped us off right in front of it. Inside, there were hundreds of paintings, even on the ceiling and many sculptures. We stared in awe and went in the direction of the most famous exhibit- the Mona Lisa. The ‘Mona Lisa’ was tiny compared to other paintings but half of the tourists in the museum were pushing and fighting their way through to see it. Most of them ignored the others. When we got outside, it was really cold and we thought about taking the bus tour. We had to go on a BigBus so as we wo