Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A 'Moving' Experience!

"Oh...God. Where's that book?"

Daddyyyyy.... I can't find my red slippers"

The remote? Oh...I kept it in the same box as the DVD... Now! Where's that blasted box?".

I'm getting late... I'm getting late... In which box did I keep the combs?"

The above are some 'sample phrases' being bounced off, and on, the walls of our new home, these days.

Moving is one helluva job. Since the time we decided to shift houses, its been one big traumatic experience till now. Throwing away unnecessary things. Arguing and debating on what to keep and what to throw. Crazy sentiments versus clear logic. Hoarding rubbish against disposing valuables. Or the reverse. Sorting stuff and arranging things in different places, readying our belongings for the packers and movers.

And then they came. Actually, they descended on us. A small army of packers. Their sole aim was to grab everything in sight, wrap it up in paper, and shove it into the cartons. You pay - we pack. No talk - just watch. That seemed like their motto... or perhaps their type of a mission statement.

"Heyyyyyy, that's a very expensive glass vase... you could break it." A look of shock on my wife's face. "Don't worry Ma'am. We've been doing this for years" A throw of skill with the glass-vase. Which his colleague deftly catches and wraps it into bubble-wrap-paper and pushes it into another carton.

A display of apathy. At its best. They seem completely immune to any feelings for our thumping hearts or our lumping throats . They do not wait for us to arrange stuff. They do not wait for more discussions on whats to be left or taken. Their simple saying is "You tell us what goes where. And we'll just put it there".

Within hours, our flat is stripped bare. From our wardrobes, even the clothes with hangers are lifted straight off from their iron-rods... and taken into the van outside. They are then neatly hung to the iron rods affixed to the ceiling in the interior of the huge vehicle.

Very soon, the journey to the new place begins. And away went the movers' van - well-laden with loads of clothes, utensils, crockery, photo-frames, paintings, vases, books, jars, tins, shelves, pillows, shoes, cameras, TV, etc. etc. and more etc. and much more etc.

We lock up the old house, run to our car, and drive to the new place. Through the Bahrain's now-bothersome traffic, through the heat and dust outside, through lines of bumper-to-bumper cars, through the the angry afternoon sun, we move slowly to finally, finally reach the new place.

Lo and Behold! Our more-than-efficient troupe of movers-and-packers are already there! Waiting at the gate of the new place, ready to unload.

The workers seem blessed with boundless enthusiasm. What's their job again? To lift heavy weights, of cartons, suitcases, and furniture again, off from the van into the new place. And they do it with such speed and agility that we are dumbfounded.

Now, their large moving van was stripped bare of all those boxes and other belongings. And soon our new place was filled with those cardboard boxes and other belongings.

The skilled army of packers-and-movers were then quickly off to another house! They seem to be a tearing hurry. Not even completing consumption of offered sandwiches and orange juice. And off they went. Probably to shock yet another frustrated family, with their prowess.

But our ever-faithful, men-friday, Reddy and Rangaiah, helped us with the rest, in the new house.

Its over a week since we moved. But nothing seems to be in its place. It'll take a while to adjust and reorient ourselves to the new directions and the new locations of the old things.

From sugar-tins to shoe-polish and from screw-driver to stereo-adapter, its one big search after another.

"Daddyyyyyyyy..... where's that book of Fairy Tales?? You said you'd kept it in my box with my name on it....but ..its not here!...... I want to show it to my new neighbour, Shaima."

Well, Sorry folks......Bye for now.... I must go and find that book for her.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Me, My Wife, and Batelco - A Love Triangle?

Wow! Batelco announced its 1st Quarter profits, last week, of nearly 25 million!

And did you all know that I contributed to those profits??

My calls inland, my calls abroad, my software downloads, my children's game downloads, my wife's purchase of sim-sim cards, her calls to her friends, her calls to near-relatives (who stay far-away), her SMS-es to game shows, calls to 900 numbers, my MMS attempts......

So, excuse me, Batelco. Don't you think I deserve at least a 'Thank You' note?

But instead of a 'Thank You' note, what do I get yesterday?

A Red Bill. By post.

And also a SWEET Voice. On phone. "Azeezi izaboon.... Dear customer, your telephone bill is over due.....please pay the bill immediately to avoid disconnection."

And also an ANGRY Voice (of my wife), "If you don't pay it today, they may disconnect the phone. And then, how can I show my face to my friends who call??"

"Just a minute," I said. "How can you show your face on telephone......I thought you make your friends hear your voice... right?

No. She didn't like the joke. In fact, that made her furious.

"Stop being childish! The last time, you had promised you'll pay online, and still waited until they almost disconnected."

"But didn't I pay it, even if late, and stop the disconnection?"

"Oh yeah?? You did. But that was only because you were worried about losing the Internet connection, and that precious time you spend on your stupid computer."

"Oh yeah? And it doesn't matter to you? You can't be grateful a bit? That I was able to let you show your face... ..er... make your friends hear your voice??"

"I am in no mood to appreciate your silly talk."

"I am just asking you to appreciate my paying telephone bills. Even, if late."

"Why? You think I forgot that time when they actually disconnected?! And how you ran helter-skelter to get it reconnected again?"

"But, I got it done. On the same day!"

"Yes. But what about the additional 'reconnection' charges to Batelco?"

"But dear, look at the result…"

"Now, listen. If that's what you think, go ahead. Let the phone be disconnected if you wish. I can always talk to my friends on my mobile phone. And anyway, I want to see how long you can live without the internet connection."


"What happened...... cat got your tongue?"

"You know, dear.... We must really upgrade to a bigger broadband connection. You can speak for hours with anyone around the world. What is more, I already explained and showed you. You can really, actually, show your face to friends - on webcam, by using an instant messenger ....without paying anything."

That got her attention.

"Without paying anything?"


"Impossible! You must be paying for something!"

"Well, not for telephone calls."


"For Internet usage, on broad band, based on the data bits we send and receive."

"So, simply speaking, the more you use it, the more you pay?"


"No. Thanks!"

See, folks? Its so sad. There are still some people who do not wish to contribute to Batelco's profits, and this country's economy.