sdevarajan (sdevarajan) wrote,

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Twenty Days in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kadambari's narration which I happened to read prompted me to post this comment, just in case. The long chat I have had last night with the family folks and the subsequent happenings in Riyadh (the Guest House) directed me to think that the views must be jotted down in someplace. And the victim is livejournal.
It is desirable I start with the day I started from India. On December 14th, 2006, with loads of guilt I woke up on the sound of the alarm at 2:00 am. The only soothing thing was the familiar call of Prabha asking me to sleep for some more time and she would wake me up after the coffee is ready. With a shake of the head and the guilt of disturbing Prabha, Bobby and Mishka at the wee hours, I got up and went thro the routine. I turned down the request of my dear folks to accompany me to the airport, for, its a working day and I wanted them to get some sleep.
The long forgotten routines at the airport have just passed by and I boarded the flight to Muscat and dozed off immediately after breakfast. The memory is so feeble today that I do not know what I ate. Good!!!. After boarding and disembarking and again disembarking and boarding again in Muscat, for some stupid security procedure, reached Riyadh at about 10 pm that night. Zubair, the driver stood out at the receiving area with a placard stating my name. 40 kms drive in beautifully lit and neat roads to the city center.
A good meal at Malaz restaurant, with Rasam and More and went to the Guest House. Three occupants already and a low bed with a very warm blanket was provided to me. Hit the bed, after the pelasantries' exchange. Cold but manageable, Riyadh. Brought memeories of the days in 1984, when I went to Delhi with very little money, in Winter, and with no warm clothes.
Woke up early on the 15th and went to the Office and met TKC, Vetri and others.
No specific work allotted and may be I can call this period as acclimatization. And no work even after 20 days and I am still acclimatizing. In the meanwhile went to Dammmam (on 22nd December,2006) and stayed in another guest house occupied by JKR, SS, Thillai, Karthi and others. Not much work could be done except a single visit to a prospect named "EuroVillage Compound".
After 4 days' stay returned to Riyadh and the rigmaroles have commenced.
The caustic comments made by Manickam hurts but no reaction from me. What do they think? Do they own me? With the kind of hygiene they have, it is shameful on them to pass comments on my checkered shirts. The best way to handle a fool is to ignore him.
Most of the events and observations are passable. I also understand that they require some entertainment and TV is the only mode available for them and they spend most of the time in the office. But keeping the TV blaring well after midnight continuously (its their problem to get hooked to Soap Operas and mega serials) even after friendly nudgings and polite requests to tone down, is a sort of arrogance. To cap it discussing the episodes at that hour with Pazhani who has got a high voice, is insulting enough. As a result, I woke up only at 8:45 am today and Manickam was quick to remind me that I must be in the Office by 9:30 am. Good that I have not reacted. Asking others to adapt our way of life is indecent and that too to a senior person. They can sleep the day off or wake up late, skip breakfast and even bath and pretend to be present on time in the office. I cannot do that.
Another reading of the above, indicates how the present mood can affect the narrative style, the vocabulary and even the content. However careful you are, seeping in of frustration can play havoc.
Therefore on a positive note, vowed to change the atmosphere congenial, to bring back the vanished (for the past few days)smile to the rugged face, to effectively and in an organized manner convert threat into opportunity and to post firewalls to prevent frustration from getting into the system.
On the positive side again, I have been regular in the exercises since the second day of my arrival in Riyadh. Have not skipped breakfast except today.
Read a little on Oracle Apps. Broke the monotony of guesthouse to office and office to guesthouse by extensive use of the internet. At the time of search in the free ebooks accidently omitted to download "The Google Story" and do not rememebr the exact location.
Posted a comment on Kadambari's livejournal. At last a beginning - to blog. It brings a smile to my face as I remember how many times Kadambari would have pleaded with me to blog regularly. Her "haven't I said so?" is clearly audible. Unconnectedly it also brings into my memory the watchful eyes of Mishka and the chiding voice (or is it the tone) of Prabha. My dear wife and children - I miss you all. Do not ask me what have I done when I was in your midst.
Will make up the loss next time.
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