Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year Resolutions

Well folks! 2016 is nearly over!

Now’s the time everyone has started making their resolutions. I’ve never made a resolution in my life, probably because I know I’ll never keep it.  Besides, James Corden and Meghan Trainor sang pretty accurately- ‘’Resolutions are worthless, we all know that’s why we’re here/ I’ll be the same disappointment I’ve been for the past three years.’’

 ‘’My resolutions for 2017, are to complete the resolutions of 2016, which I should have done in 2015 because I made a promise in 2014 and planned them in 2013’’ explains everyone who makes them in a jiffy.

I haven’t been able to post much this year, since school kept me busy. I’m going to try to catch up next year. 2016 has already been labeled as a depressing year by the world. Hopefully, 2017 will be better.

DPS published its magazine, and all three of the articles I had given made it! Ironically, one of the articles is on blogging where I made a reference to be regular.

It’s so hard to believe how fast time is flying. I’m currently in Riyadh with my parents, for the Christmas and New Year holidays, and I’ll be switching on CNN, early in the morning of 1st January 2017 to see the NY ball drop! Any guesses on who’s performing this time? 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Herfy Café and Grill

Trying out new restaurants is a happiness my parents and I share together, and we found that there was a great one right under our noses. (There is absolutely nothing better than feeling the weight of a fork and a knife in my hands and thinking of all the good things to come).

Herfy Café and Grill had its name written in Arabic, so it wasn’t something very noticeable. We’d drive right past without realizing how we had just missed something that was built for the growth of mankind.

It’s a cozy little restaurant, more different from the rest in terms of seating because the chairs are more like couches and a lot more comfier.­­ ­­ I ordered a Herfy chicken cordon bleu (absolutely delicious) with pasta as a side dish.

The breakfast menu also seems interesting, which means I’M COMING BACK!

It’s something we would definitely like to come back to and try again, and I would recommend it to food lovers like me (Welcome to the club, y’all).

After a food-filled week in Riyadh, Mom and I are going back to India, where I have already missed two days of classes (School attendance was never really my best. Last year, I had the least attendance compared to everyone else in my class.). 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pooja holidays

Just two more months and then we can say ‘adieu’ to 2016! It’s crazy how fast the year went. I can’t believe how so much happened in 2016.

School kept me busy most part of the year. Finally it was time for SA-1 exams, which marked the ending of the first semester. The minute I reached home after the last exam, I took my laptop and crawled into bed and spent hours on the Internet, before catching up on much-needed sleep.

I’m currently spending the Pooja holidays, which began on the next day after the exam and continue till Thursday, in Riyadh. It feels great to be back. I’ve already decided all the restaurants I need to go to because I miss most of my favorite ones like TGI Friday’s, Buffaloes, and Portuguese Grill. Plus the one at IKEA, they have amazing meatballs.

Mom and I went to Barbecue Nation along with Kunjunni, Kunjichechi, Valyamma and Valyachan. The food really was incredible.   

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Turtle Beach Resort

Dad, Kunjunni, Kunji chechi and I held hands as the waves crashed on the shore. We could hear the roaring sound of the sea and feel the sand beneath our feet. The cold water pooled around us until we were hip-deep, before rushing back.

The private beach was a beautiful one. The horizon stretched on with nothing interrupting its flow. No other people, not a single footprint. There was a breeze and everything was serene.

Turtle Beach resort had plenty in store for us. But we were going back home in the evening so we couldn’t try out everything.

My parents had arranged for a taxi to drive us in the morning, along with Kunjunni and Kunji chechi, to the resort. Valyamma and Valyachan would join us later.

At the resort, we could hear the faint sound of roaring waves at the beach, which proved to be just too good to resist. Mom chose to stay out of the fun and watched us instead because a) she didn’t want to get wet and b) the waves were so huge anyway.

“You won’t get washed away if a wave hits you” Dad said, but Mom refused to budge and stood under a coconut tree with her umbrella.

When we were done splashing around, we went to our hut. The backyard had two hammocks and Dad and Kunjunni leaped on them immediately. Kunjunni fell out of his hammock when he tried to lie on it the first time but scrambled back up quickly. Valyamma and Valyachan arrived to see him smiling peacefully up at the sky with his hands behind his head.

After lunch, we hit the swimming pool. Valyachan, Kunjunni, Dad and I swam around and the others watched us while sitting on the pool chairs. The four of us tried to see who could hold their breath underwater the longest, and Kunji chechi timed us. Dad, being the best swimmer won. Kunjunni and I had goggles on. When I looked at him next to me underwater, he gave me a wave before tickling me, so I came up first, gasping and glaring.

We went to see ‘Finding Dory’ at Lulu. We all went “Aww…” on seeing Dory when she was just a fry. Okay, now that sounds plain weird.

Dad had only come for a week’s time and he left yesterday. It’s back to the normal routine.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New school, new year

These last few days have been so busy! The days are practically flying by.

Global Public School opens its gates to everyone on the 23rd. We came to India because of my parents’ decision to transfer me to a better school. I agreed with them and it was all set.

May 11th was the initial opening day. But the lack of rains and the rising heat made everyone change their minds. The District Collector finally announced that no school in Ernakulam was to open before 22nd, or the school would be fined.

The next day, after the final confirmation of the announcement by the school, it began to rain heavily, and it’s been like that for a few days. Drizzle, rain, pause. Drizzle, rain, pause. The temperature has finally lowered and we don’t need to switch on the air conditioning when we  sleep.

Mom went to Riyadh for a few days and she’s coming back on 25th.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

It’s finally here! “The Crown” by Kiera Cass was released on 3rd May !

It’s the ending we’ve all been waiting for. Will America survive her heart attack? What is the future for Illéa? And most importantly, who will become Eadlyn’s husband?

I finished the novel today. It was pretty good, but I felt it was rushed in a few areas, especially during the ending.

Since there are people who are looking forward to reading “The Crown”, I’m not going to tell you much about the plot. And don’t worry, I’m definitely not going to tell you who wins Eadlyn’s heart at last.

Right before the Report, on which Eadlyn is to reveal her fiance, she talks to her father, Maxon. We get to learn some information which had never been shared previously about his father, Clarkson.

There are several changes in Eadlyn’s personality during the course of events in ‘The Crown”. She becomes less snobby and proud, and becomes more aware of the fact that in order to become a better ruler, she needs to hear out her people.

Josie changes drastically too. Her way of thinking becomes different once she realizes that Eadlyn’s job is not always about party and glam, and she finally stops her aspirations of becoming princess some day.

Overall, everything changes for the better, for both Eadlyn and Illéa.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Hiya folks!

We’re currently in Kerala, where we arrived two days after the ending of our Swiss/German vacation.

Either we’re seeing new impacts of global warming, or the world has lost its marbles. Somehow, Kerala is begging for rain, while simultaneously Saudi Arabia has received unexpected showers, heavy enough to make all schools give the students a day off.

Due to no rain, the temperature in Kerala is sweltering. You can stand around and do nothing and you’ll still be drenched in sweat in twenty minutes. Three if you’re hard at work.

On the other hand, I noticed all my friends in Riyadh changing their profile photos to pictures of the rain and their status to profoundly blessing it. Chalk one up for them.

But let’s not forget the cinema theatres of Kerala. I watched “Jungle Book” at Nucleus mall, “Kung fu panda 3” at Gold Souk, and “Fan” at Oberon.

“Jungle book” was awe-some! Brilliant! We had our eyes glued to the screen the entire time.

“Kung fu panda 3” was great too, but not as good as its predecessors. But Po was just as hilarious as usual.

“Fan” was surprising, with plot twists.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Swan Diary

When the captain announced that the plane had started to descend, at first Mom and I could see nothing but clouds. Then eventually, when we felt the popping sensation in our ears, Switzerland came into view.

The aerial view of Switzerland was like one of those pictures you get on postcards. I dont know why I felt so, but it was the first thing that popped into my head. Everything being so proper and perfect.

But the real beauty was when the Alps came into view. Even from far away, the sight  was breathtaking. We could see the snow on the peaks of the mountains. We’d never seen snow before in our lives, so it was exciting.

Snow was something we had only seen in photos and on TV. The closest chance I had got to see real snow was in Ski Dubai and in Disneyland in France, even though Ski Dubai had technically ice and Disneyland could offer only fake snow, as France had decided not to snow while we were there, but if that was a blessing or a curse, I could not tell, as in reference to my aforementioned fact, we had never seen or touched snow.

Anyway, Zurich was a small city, its river filled with plenty of ducks and swans. Plenty. But these birds provide the liveliness and beauty of the lake, because it’s entertaining and peaceful to watch them float on the water, occasionally disappearing inside and reappearing somewhere else.

Swans though, are anything but peaceful. They are a beautiful, clean colour of white, the colour of peace, but try and throw them food, and they’ll follow you around until you either throw them more food, or decide to make a run for it, whichever feels safer.

I remember the incident we had with swans in London when I was young. We bought food to throw for the swans, and went right to the edge of the bank. There were several swans there, about seven or eight. The minute the first handful of food was in the water, they’d all come together and fight over it. One particular swan was very vicious, pecking every other swan that came close.

It also pecked the food I was offering it in my palm, but not in the calm, polite way I had expected. Its beak touched my pinky, so for a second, I thought it was going to bite it straight off and I gave a little scream before hyperventilating (I was five turning six- don’t judge me).

When we got up and began to walk to the other side of the bank, they followed us on the water. All of them. Then the honking started and we decided to go further away from the Thames river and return some other day.

A few days into the Zurich trip, we saw a pair of swans fighting. It was all quiet and calm, and all the water birds had decided to become land birds for a few minutes, (Seriously, all the ducks and swans just came on shore. It was like a bird meeting. Or a bird council.) and we were watching them waddle on shore, and then the silence of the night was broken by a swan’s shrill cry when it flapped its wings and hit another swan which in return flapped its wings and hit the first swan and the action went on for about a minute until one of them got pushed into the water.

Personally, I felt like lifting the winner swan’s wing into the air and shouting ‘We have a champion!”.

I’ve given my verdict on swans and now it’s time to come back to the present scenario.

We’re currently at Heidelberg in Germany, where we reached by train yesterday after our five-day trip in Zurich.

It took three hours from Zurich to Heidelberg, Germany. We didn’t even know how fast the time flew. Trains are great to travel in if there’s a good view outside. Plus, I had my Kindle, so I could finish reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Rainbow, please don’t forget to write a sequel. I’m dying to know what the postcard said. Even though I have a very good guess).

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Switzerland Diary - Mount Titlis Cliff Walk

I was standing right in the middle of the swinging bridge, with my hands tightly holding onto the railing. The wind was whispering and moaning while carrying snow particles. It was the kind of strong winds I had never experienced before in my entire life. Not only were they freezing cold, they were also strong enough to push me to the other railing of the bridge if I was stupid enough to let go for a second. Every time I turned my face towards them, it was like receiving a cold, tight slap from nature.

My parents were far behind. I could see them struggling against the force too. I was nearly at the end so I spread my arms and ran along its remaining length.

This had definitely been scary. My face felt frozen, like my legs and arms. The wind was still howling in our ears. When Mom and Dad caught up with me they had what-were-you-crazy-enough-to-run look on their faces.

The two other people behind us came and asked “How do we get down?’

We said “What?”

They raised their voices “How do we get down?”

We just shrugged. There was a cabin nearby and the staff inside looked pretty cheery when they saw us, which I thought weird, especially since the entire thing felt like a life-and-death situation.

“Oh, no” said the man, when Dad asked him if there was any other place to go on the peak where we were standing. “You can either take that way”- he pointed towards a snowy path where the snow was being practically whipped by the wind- “or you can walk back to the other side by the bridge.”

We said we’d take the bridge again.

The first time getting across had been scary because there had only been five people on it totally, including the three of us, so it suddenly felt like it was the wrong way. But then we saw all these other people on the other side getting ready to cross it and we felt instantly relieved.

The second time was much more fun and hilarious. The bridge swinging now felt normal and everyone had their coats flying around their heads, and bags trying to soar, and snow hitting their faces. It was humorous to see everyone.

We later found out that the bridge we’d crossed twice was actually the highest suspension bridge in Europe, and had also been called one of the scariest bridges in the world (no argument there).

Mom said, had she known this earlier, she would have never attempted this.

Dad and I said cheerily “Wanna go again?”

Mom said NO, she was fine.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

To all future CBSE 9th graders

School ended more than a week ago, leaving us less than one more  week before we reach 10th grade.

To be honest, ninth grade seemed to be the longest year of our lives. At the beginning of the year, we were glowing; at the end, everyone looked dazed.

Teachers would love to make us scared out of our wits. They’d say how much of a traumatizing effect ninth would have on all of us, and how hard it was, and only the strong-minded managed to make it out alive. At  the end of every spiel, we’d exchange nervous looks with each other and look up in desperation.

Of course, the teachers didn’t actually say all this out loud,but it was clearly implied when they talked.

Then of course, we had friends to assure us, that all this was true. But, they said, tenth grade was much more easier.

I know this all sounds like we had been condemned to hell last year, but trust me all future ninth-graders when I tell you the experience wasn’t that bad. Well, not as much as it was told to us anyways.   

The truth is, 9th grade was different from previous grades, which made it hard.

To move on to lighter notes- nearly one week of vacation still left!

Of course, I’m pretty sure no one can survive a vacation, a week, a day or a few hours, without the benefactor of mankind, which is wi-fi.

Whoever can survive without wi-fi, in my opinion, deserves a medal, because in most houses, nearly everything runs on wi-fi (human beings included).

Friday, March 25, 2016

And then there were none

Yesterday I watched the 1945 film “And then there were none”, based on the book by Agatha Christie!

It was really entertaining, even though the end was nothing like how the book said. The pretty girl, Vera and the dashing guy who turned out not to be Philip Lombard, but his friend, managed to escape the island, possibly getting married after they reached home. The movie had also altered the crimes and names of some people, but other than that, it was nearly the same.

I’d read the book before from our school library. According to everyone, it’s one of the best books Agatha Christie has ever written.

Chocolate syrup was used in some of the old black-and-white movies as fake blood, like in the Hitchcock movie, “Psycho”, which I should have probably known earlier so that I could have prevented freaking out over the gruesome scenes.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Elementary, my dear Watson

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always liked to read series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Percy Jackson, The Selection, Celestra, Secret, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and books like The Fault in our stars, Elephant in the Garden and Let it snow. The list is practically endless. It’s funny because I know there are a gazillion books out there which I would like to name and still not a single one comes to my mind when I’m asked on the spot.

On the other hand, Nanditha loves to read Agatha Christie books and Sherlock Holmes, and despises the novels I read. It took me forever to convince her to read the Hunger Games. Once she finished the first book, she got pretty interested, so I was like, “See?”

The school library has several Agatha Christie books, like the Miss Marple series and the Poirot series. I myself had ‘Miss Marple’s final cases’ and ‘The 4:50 from Paddington’. They were pretty much wasted on me, so I asked Nanditha if she’d like to read them.

Dad said he liked Sherlock Holmes stories when he was young. He still does. But I usually put the book down after the first chapter. I know it’s a famous line, but I still haven’t got to the part where Sherlock says “It’s elementary, Watson.”

Shakespeare has never appealed to me either. But I do realize that in every Shakespeare story someone gets betrayed, someone falls in love and someone dies (not necessarily in order).

Why do people always compare the greatest love stories and romances with ‘Romeo and Juliet?’ From what I remember, neither of them was breathing at the end.

But like I said, the school has Agatha Christie books. I finally decided to give them a go. Besides, there was a chance they would be more interesting now than they were 2 years back.

I read ‘The Moving Finger’ and ‘The Big 4’. They were actually pretty good!

It was Nanditha’s turn to say “See?”

I should probably try out Sherlock Holmes too. From what I read once, Sherlock Holmes was so popular, when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed him off, people began to complain. A lot. Talk about pressure!

The Shakespeare plays in my library are in the form of dialogues, plus, everything is in old English. The letters are microscopic in size. It would be comparatively easy for me to read a book with my eyes closed.

These are my opinions on Shakespeare, but who knows? Maybe I’ll start liking his plays and stories when I grow older. Look at me and Miss Marple now. We’ve made our peace with each other.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

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 to fall down a lot.  

Of course, since Taylor Swift is my favorite singer (she always has been since the time I was in the 5th grade, her songs never get old), she’s already bagged several spots in my mind when I think of my favorite songs, but then again, there are others.

“Girl on fire”, “Hey everybody”, “Thousand years”, “Jar of hearts”, “Innocence”, and so many songs I love listening to, it would take me forever to type them all out. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

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 10th!

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 it reasonable.

Friday, January 1, 2016

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 29th.

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 1st, 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 see the point since I know no one’s going to keep them.