I didn’t know that I would write my weekly update so soon. Usually I take my time.
It hasn’t been one of the fairy-airy weeks here in Bahrain. Plenty has changed.
The climate. The mood. The temperament.
Let me begin from the time when I had to explain to people, where I was moving to, when it was difficult for me to clearly point out where Bahrain is in the map of the world and when it seemed like the laid-back place to raise your family.
It has been 9 months living here. I have my own opinion about how much I like this place. But personal views apart, I know it is a lovely place for people who would love a smooth life. It is a community that is modern in its own right while being firmly attached to its culture. They are more tolerant than any other community that I have lived amongst and they love children. That is how I have come to understand the people of this country. I am most impressed with the women who are well spoken and know their stuff.
Winds of Change have been knocking for a while now. Literally. The climate in the past 9 months has been radical. I think, nature senses a revolution before it takes root in people’s minds. It has been windy ( no surprise), dusty( no surprise, again), but it has rained, rained for days ( thats really surprising). The cold wave has hung around more than it has ever in the history of this country. There were signs, I feel. Not all was alright.
13th February -Underground rumours were afloat for many days. But you know, you could safely push them away. This is Bahrain. Nothing can go wrong here. Right?
I love this Batelco ( Telecom Service Provider) ‘s version of the Bahrain Flag.
14th February was D-Day for protests, we heard. My husband came home earlier than usual citing there might be trouble on 14th. We had plans for Valentines Day. It seemed it would be only wise to cancel reservations.
14th February- An off had been declared and my hubby stayed home. Hearts of hearts I was very pleased that we would get to spend Valentines together. News started pouring in about people gathering at the Pearl Roundabout to demonstrate against the regime. The news channels were buzzing and we were hooked. Happy Valentines!
It was a peaceful protest with a few banners and some slogan shouting.
15th February - It was an usual morning for us. My hubby went to office and passed by the Pearl roundabout to notice only a few tents and a vandalized pearl roundabout. I logged on to the internet to know why pearl roundabout was so important.
The Pearl Roundabout – This beautiful structure is at the center of the capital, Manama. It comprises of 6 ‘sails’ projecting to the sky and almost culminating at the top to hold a pearl. Pearl and Bahrain go a long way. Keeping that in mind and the 6 sails representing the 6 countries in the Persian Gulf, the Pearl roundabout signifies the united heritage.
So the protesters had chosen Bahrain’s own “Tahrir Square” to show some peaceful disobedience.
It was a calendar holiday. But we stayed home.
Overall my mood was sombre. I did not feel like doing anything. I didn’t even exercise. No baking either.
16th February – Everything seemed like it was just going back to normal. Time and again, I felt my heart go out to the families who were grieving for the dead and the injured. I started to pray fervently that everything should be back to normal.
Inside we knew, things were only simmering. But most definitely, people seemed scared to venture out. News about all the mourners gathering for a peaceful March perked our ears up. Ofcourse, it was not going to be all peaceful. We ‘ll have to wait and watch. We were hooked to the news channel and twitter, the entire time. Mimi seemed bored and was bouncing off the walls.
Not everything was normal like I thought. We know for sure that people might be leaving the country now. But we didn’t want to act rashly. Nobody was doing anything to the expats.
17th February- Anxiety had risen a few notches higher and we were glued to the internet and the TV for more news. Lots of our friends here had left for India. Now the tension was getting to us but reason dictated, there was no need to show haste.
The entire atmosphere was vitriolic. I decided to bake something because that would most definitely make me feel better. I made some granola bars because it was easy to make and very healthy too. I remember having Nature Valley’s Granola Bars in my purse all the time. They were my go-to food for instant energy boost. Having made these at home, I cannot ever think of buying them again. Not only were they delicious , but also quick to make.
Must say, making them and having them did let off some steam. With a prayer on our lips we called it a day.
18th February It’s the weekend. Surely people know the importance of a weekend. We have to go out. I wished that everybody got whatever they were asking for. I feared that I would have to interrupt my sacred ritual of doing restaurant reviews. In the lieu of such national emergencies, sacrifices such as these amount to nothing (*cringes after having written this statement*).
But the good news was, people were ready to talk to each other, so there was a feeling that things might actually go back to normal. Please Gods, make it all become alright else we might have to go to Qatar. I didn’t want to go to a house in Qatar with no internet and no friends *Sniffles*
19th February Today I am bouncing off walls. The entire week we hadn’t stepped out. I didn’t even hit the gym and all the goodies that I had baked and so generously helped myself to, are graciously settling down. Not a good scenario.
But the good news was people were talking, things were more than normal and Amit would go to office on Sunday. Mimi and I were not used to having him around so much. We all got on each others’ nerves.
Joking!! It was good to be together the whole day.
I baked two batches of very delectable “Chocolate -Nut – Biscotti”. These sumptuous things pepped up our mood and my resolve to hit the gym atleast 5 days, next week.
In the evening, we stepped out a bit to do a quick restaurant review at ” Isfahani” Restaurant – A Persian Joint – right behind where we live – Juffair ( American Alley)
While we walked to our destination, we realized the once bustling street, which we fondly call “Khaau Gali” was desolate. The restaurant was deserted too. But our appetites didn’t mind that at all.
We came back home after a wonderful meal and logged on to the internet to learn that things were looking good now. Life was going back the way it was a week back. It would mean waking up early – sending Amit off to work – going about the routine, I couldn’t be happier!!!!
Mimi’s Happy Too-
When I said, I wanted to take a breather in my last week’s post, I didn’t want such a zero-action phase. I wish God take all my wishes this seriously – like winning the lottery ( I have to, atleast once in my life), free trips to Europe, lots of clothes, shoes, and purses, making me 4 sizes smaller………. Sigh!