Monday, 28 April 2014

HIGHWAY: destination "Khorfakkan"

Hajjar mountains, The highway to khorfakkan

Day: One sunny afternoon on a boring Friday.

A sudden idea: To explore the idyllic town of Khorfakkan (part of Sharjah), bordering on the blue waters of Gulf of Oman on the east coast. 

Flop no 1: On the road only by 4 pm.

Travel route and time: Took the Dhaid road, almost two hours with stops for rest.

Agenda: Khorfakkan beach before sunset, the Al Bidiyah mosque, the Friday market at Masafi.

Travel alert no 1: Be ready for a humid climate and do wear cool summer cottons, the moment you get out of the car, the heaviness of the air welcomes you.

Travel alert no 2: If you have a bored and hungry four-year-old, strapped in the child-seat of your car, do have an unlimited stock of snack, water and playthings.

Vehicle: Preferably 4x4 esp if you want to visit wadi wuraiyah, or any other unpaved locations.

Success no 1: A relaxing and rejuvenating drive on the near empty roads,compared to the daily stress filled commute to work.

Success no 2: A breathtaking view of the Hajjar mountains on all sides, in the late afternoon sun, transporting us to a different world.

Flop no 2: Reached Khorfakkan corniche beach at sunset 6 30. Did not have much time to get into the water in a ferry or jet ski .Loads of private operators providing the service at reasonable rates.

Success no 3: Enjoyed the waves of the ocean, the colors of the water, and the Hajjar mountains on either side.

Flop no 3: Reached Al Bidiyah mosque after darkness set in.

Success no 4: The mosque still looked awe-inspiring, reminding us of the times long long ago in the history of the region. Prayers are still held, so many generations have prayed here and we continue to do so.

A final victory no 5: Every information online said that the Masafi market is open only till 10 pm.. and we thought we had missed it. But much to our delight most of the shops were still open on our way back ... and we even haggled a good bargain for some carpets:-)

And now the pictures do the talking.

The Hajjar mountains

The highway to khorfakkan

The Khorfakkan beach

Khorfakkan beach

The Khorfakkan beach

Al Bidiyah Mosque under the Govt of Fujairah

Al Bidiyah Mosque- Fujairah

Al Bidiyah Mosque- Fujairah

Al Bidiyah Mosque- Fujairah

Al Bidiyah Mosque- Fujairah

Al Bidiyah Mosque- Fujairah

Al Bidiyah Mosque- Fujairah

Al Bidiyah Mosque- Fujairah

The Friday Market at Masafi (open on all days though!!)- we had a glimpse of it en route to khorfakkan and decided to stop there on the way back.

Masafi market- Fujairah

Masafi market- Fujairah

Carpets in Masafi market- Fujairah

Masafi market- Fujairah

Masafi market- Fujairah

A drive on the Highway always makes memories... and please do remember to drive safe.

                                                                                                                                              ZAIN & FARZ

Monday, 21 April 2014

A glimpse of "THE GRAND MOSQUE" ...from our eyes

Sometimes we feel entrapped in the woes of the present world that we just need to get in touch with our inner self, and our Almighty. Though out history there have been many monuments built to signify this truth and to create the ambience for prayer and self-realization.

The UAE has in recent times built one such beautiful masterpiece, “The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque”.It is such a hidden beauty in comparison with the glitzy towers and malls built in this country, and is in the city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country.This recent piece of Islamic marvel was initiated and concieved by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who is buried near the mosque.

We were just going through some photo albums of ours, and we came across some great photos, couldn't resist sharing them... so here you go.

The grand mosque abudhabi

The grand mosque abudhabi
The grand mosque abudhabi

The mosque itself was built over around 10 years and completed in 2007. Its the largest mosque in UAE and has a capacity of around 40,000 worshipers at a time. The mosque is open to visitors to take a tour of the grand place and its various cultural activities. It also houses a library filled with books and other artefacts of the Islamic world. 

Coming to the mosque, you can stop wondering about the sheer talent of the artisans who have contributed. There are many marvels in the main prayer hall

The grand mosque abudhabi

The grand mosque abudhabi

The grand mosque abudhabi
- The seven chandeliers from Germany all studded with millions of swarovski crystals, they are the third largest in the world.

The grand mosque abudhabi

- The world's largest hand knotted carpet by an Iranian designer, weighs around 35 tons and took two years to finish.

The grand mosque abudhabi

- The 99 names of Allah written on the Qiblah wall ( the direction of prayer towards the Kaabah in Makkah, Saudi Arabia), designed by calligrapher from UAE.

- The beautiful courtyards lined by marble, the floors so cool to the feet.

The grand mosque abudhabi

The grand mosque abudhabi

The grand mosque abudhabi

The grand mosque abudhabi

- These pillars conceal lighting, and on the backdrop of the white marble, produces an effect that reflects the light of the moon through out the month.

The grand mosque abudhabi
The grand mosque abudhabi

- This clock highlights the five prayer timings, throughout the day.

Both Muslims and non- Muslims are allowed to visit the mosque, during non-prayer times. Women of all faith must be covered in Abayas (Hijab) also provided at the mosque.The mosque is open to visitors all week except friday (before noon). 

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of this artistic splendor...

                                                                                                                                         ZAIN & FARZ

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

"The Perfect Cup of CHAI !!"

Most Indians have an affinity for a "cup of chai" (sorry coffee lovers:) ). Having steaming cup of hot tea with a special someone, from a street side vendor. Having a cup of tea with your friends at wee hours when you have an exam the next morning. The first tea a nervous guy sips when he is arranged to meet his future bride. Having a cup of tea sitting by the window, along with a plate of garam (hot) pakodas (a fried indian snack) when it rains outside. So many memories.. are made over a cup of tea.

Me and Zain met in an arranged marriage setup; completely oblivious to each others likes and dislikes. Through the course of our courtship, I came to know that my husband and his "cup of CHAI" are inseparable.

Now that's easy I thought, I 'll make him a few cups a day and he would be in bliss. Well, after the nuptials, I came to know he has varieties of chai lined up, the masala chai, the ginger chai, the cardamom chai, etc. etc.. I did try my hand at it, but it didn't turn out that he fell in love with them. They ended up more like failed experiments.

So over the course of five years I handed over the department of making tea to him. And I must say he is a MASTER at it. Now I am greeted in the morning with a cup of steaming hot chai. Amn't I lucky, now I am the biggest fan of his chai.

Perfect cup of chai

After we moved to UAE and were setting up our new home, I began organizing our kitchen (and its still on!!). I was struck with an idea of making him a beautiful tiny "TEA STATION". Since we had less counter space, the tea station took form on our wall shelf.

A few beautiful mason jars, lots of DIY labeling, and all ingredients poured in. TA DA!!! Our very own tiny 'Tea-Station'! Boy! he was delighted wen he came back from work.

A tiny tea station- DIY

Now there is a smile on his lips every morning he makes our chai. And I smile every morning, for the pleasure of drinking it:)

This was our Chai-story....eagerly awaiting to hear yours...

Update: We have linked this post to The Weekly Story ~ wk 1 at Its an inspirational blog by Patricia Torres. If you love spaces and what you can imagine and get out of them do visit the page.

This post is linked to
Best of the Blogosphere week 8

Sunday, 6 April 2014

When babies grow ... too soon for you!!

In life there are certain moments which get engraved in your mind and etched in your heart, you remember every tiny detail, every little expression.

In my life there are many. 
One life changing moment was immediately after delivering my baby, I looked at her for the first time, once they got her cleaned up and they brought the tiny little one to me. As I instinctively cuddled and cooed to her, just like when she was in my tummy.. she just gazed at me with her wide open eyes.... 

I will never forget that look... She seemed to be reaching out to me, to my heart.. It seemed like she was telling me that I am the most important and probably the only link for her to the outside world... I felt the need for protecting her, she was mine.. looking out for her, the fierce sense of possessiveness... 

I wish I could have captured that moment in picture, the image I have in my mind, for the world to see... me and my daughter in our tiny world..

Time flies and babies grow...
her first step, her first MMA (Mamma), how she caressed my face when I had to go away on work for a few days, how she tightly hugged me and cried out her lungs when I resumed going back to work, how in deep sleep she searches for me and rolls over to hug and cuddle me... late at night half drowsy with sleep, when she tells me I m "the loveliest mumma" or that I m her JAAN (life)" and the tight hug i get from her...

Some things are too special in life.

How you love your mom, the amount of respect for dad. When you realise there is probably no limit to the gratitude you can show to them for bringing you up , loving you and giving you the best..

The amount of admiration for your spouse, when he washes the dishes so that you can rest, when he holds your hand when crossing the road, when he instinctively searches for you in a crowded room...the unspoken feeling of being loved and cared for.

Then when you see a little human being for whom you are the world, who wants you to be with her always,  who is in a way like an extension of you, it is the most selfless, innocent, giving and trusting love ever....

And you realize the cycle of life continues.... I wish I can hold time still and have my baby ... just as she is now, and take in her baby powder smell and hug her tiny frame .... 

I wish I had more time to look at her, to play with her, to answer her zillion questions, to hold her baby hands...

I wish time would stand still

Today my little baby wore her new uniform, and got onto her school bus. As I tried to desperately wave to her through the window, I realised that my baby has started school, her own new world without me. One day she will graduate from college , get married and have little ones of her own... I will still remember the warmth of her hug , the sweet smell of chocolates on her when she was a baby...

Again I wish I can relish these moment forever... children grow up, you know.....

Lets never forget to live the little moments of life...

I pray for her safety , happiness and wonderful learning experiences...
I pray that she grows up to be a strong woman, loves with abandon, explores her dreams and capabilities, and stands up for herself always. 


Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Sleeping beauty - only during day!!

Since the little one was born, she has been very nocturnal, I must say. Her sleep cycles are patterned more during daytime and lesser at night.

We as a family have this thing going on for the last 3 and half years, and still every night is a different matter all together.

At around the age of 1 and half, she woke up from her nightly nap, and rolled up her DAD asking him at 5 in the morning "whether they can go and wash the car!!"

When I rejoined work , she started having a long afternoon nap, in which she sleeps soundly. And I come home back from work late in the evening so we go to bed by 11 . Then the drama begins... there are a few stories to be told. Mamma with the story book! Mamma without the story book!! Mamma tell me a funny story! Papa please read the index and the book cover also !! phew... 
Some nights deep in sleep we realize that she is still awake and talking to her teddy. 

There have been umpteen monsters we have invoked and and after a period of time they lose their fear factor, in her mind... the crow , the tooth fairy, the hungry fish and what not... We are running out of options, you know...

The sun rises next morning on us poor sleep deprived souls. Zain tries to wake her up before he leaves for work at 7 : 30 am... And " Madame R "... gives an epic statement one morning..

" I have just begun sleeping papa , please don't disturb me!!!"

Come April 6th wen she enters kindergarten, school bus reaches at quarter to seven in the morning , God alone knows what we are going to do with this sleeping beauty .....



The Day I became Pappa !!

                             We started to search a name for our baby when she was still inside her mother's womb. In fact, this was as soon as the day when Farz was confirmed “pregnant”. The first few days were of disbelief. This feeling was so overwhelming and emotional that I am unable to express it in words. I went through a phase of - weren't we too young to be parents? How are we going to take care of a baby, etc?

                             But then as Farz's belly got bigger (and bigger) ... the realization set in... I was going to soon become a Dad or Pappa. I didn't know how the baby would call me? I call my dad as Pappa so guess I would be also called like that...just guessing....

                            Well it became more evident as Farz's appetite also grew tremendously.. It seemed like she was ready for it. Our discussions started centering on the baby's name most of the time. By the 6th month we started listing few names more for a girl baby than for a boy and gradually the list for baby girl became very long and was just the opposite case with the list for baby boy names.

                           You know what, when Farz was nearing her delivery, we actually thought what if it's a baby boy, he would have heard us from inside and once he is out, he would for sure question us. So we thought of few names for him as well. But inside our hearts somewhere we felt it had to be a sweet little cutie pie angel. I especially wanted a baby girl. In my family we are three brothers and I always felt a need for a sister. Finally when the day was arriving we started praying just for a healthy baby. The discomfort and so many changes that my wife was going through was about to end. She was nervous and excited as the date was coming close and so was I.

                          We had actually zeroed on couple of names for our baby (girl) like Arshia (from the skies), Rifah (happiness) and few more, but we wanted to choose from these two only. Since my brother has a son whose name starts with R (Raihan), we concluded that the cousins would love to have names with the same first alphabet.

                          All set, we waited for the day, a day and date that would change our lives, in many ways that we could not even fathom. Waiting as a countdown for the great day we were already feeling responsibilities of being the PARENT. The day was about to come when we would move from so called teenagers to a more “matured parents”. Probably this was and would become our only purpose of survival. The feeling was awesome.

June 17th 2010: 5:36 PM: 

                         We had been waiting outside the labor room since morning. My thoughts were completely with my wife and my baby, since the hospital protocol did not let me be there with my wife I sent her a small letter through the nurse to tell her that I am waiting for both of you outside.

                         Finally a nurse called out my wife’s name and asked for the relatives....congratulations...Ponnu kolandai (It's a BABY GIRL) J we were safe!!...It wasn't a boy....We rushed towards her.

The nurse gave us in our hand the gift from our almighty (all thanks to him) a small little creature, resembling us (FarZain) and yes we called her Rifah... and today she calls me Papa.

                       It has been three and a half years since and I am in so much of love with this bundle of joy..  I must say these two women rule my life....And I'm loving it more...

 "Belated woman's day" to all the women out there . You make our lives real special.... 
Just born daughter- a father's musings