picture taken at Bahrain’s Asry Beach – Winter 2015
This is so well written. Straight from the heart! I can “feel” the feeling. God bless us all.
Originally posted on sindhuspace:
April 12, 2015, close to 10.30 a.m, a nurse knocked the door and told me I was called to the Medical Intensive Care Unit of the Medical College Hospital, where my 84-year-old father was undergoing a really painful course of treatment for his diabetes-induced kidney failure and the resultant multiple organ collapse for seven long days. He had earlier been in and out of hospital for over a month.
When the doctor told me that my father had suffered a cardiac arrest a few minutes ago and was no more, all I said was: “So, he has escaped all that pain?”
Did I weep that moment? No.
I felt shockingly relieved that his “torture” was finally over. “Please ask them not to torture me,” his words – between sleep and wakefulness, amid groans two days before he passed on – had left my heart bleeding ever since. And for two painfully-long days, I tried…
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The Carnival is over. The Bahrain leg of the 2015 Formula One season has been a roaring success, with record numbers of daily and season attendance, all thanks to the vision and foresight of His Royal Highness Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Clearly, he is the happiest of them all. At the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) several times to cover the race for the Gulf Daily News, I have had the honour of meeting and speaking with His Royal Highness and he has always been very warm and extremely friendly, all the time addressing me with a very polite “Mr. Singh.”
And, yes, he’s like that with everyone – journalists, guests, visitors, VIP’s. Journalists, in particular, have taken a fancy to getting themselves photographed with HRH as this ‘selfie’ by my friend Habeed shows.
May Your Royal Highness continue to prosper and take Bahrain to greater heights.
Meanwhile, it was selfie season at the BIC as these pictures show. I took several shots of people’s faces, in different moods and expressions but I singled out those that show people taking selfies.
This is the ‘in’ thing for sure. The phones these days have made this so easy and the ‘stick’ to take one is also a handy gadget. I have personally never managed to take the perfect selfie myself and always end up looking wither too much into the camera or too away from it.
I leave that to the experts. Meanwhile, I do what I like to and believe I am comfortable with. Taking photographs!
This is the humble shawarma. The anytime snack, the always meal and the forever delicacy. Costs very little, it’s easy to make and is virtually everywhere. The favourite ‘between meals’ food, or even a meal in itself, the shawarma has been a winning Middle Eastern food for many decades.
There are several varieties of this available, the most common being the “Indian” version, made by Indians (read Malayalees, from Kerala state) and the ‘Bangali’ version, prepared by those from Bangladeshi’s.
But the best, and the most authentic, is the Turkish shawarma and the on prepared by Syrians, Lebanese and Jordanians.
But there’s a catch. Shawarma lovers can only indulge in the evening because these joints only start operating late in the afternoon and are ready to serve a couple of hours later.
As times change, however, it’s now available in the day at some places, giving the ‘anytime snack’ its true meaning!
A meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit and grilled for a long time, the shawarma is the cheapest and best food I have seen or eaten in the last decade and a half in Bahrain.
Shavings are cut off a block of meat for serving, and the rest of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. Although it can be served in shavings on a plate (generally with accompaniments), shawarma also refers to a sandwich or wrap made with shawarma meat. It is usually eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus, pickled turnips and amba.
It is made by alternately stacking strips of fat and pieces of seasoned meat (beef, lamb or marinated chicken) on a stick. An onion, a tomato, or a halved lemon is sometimes placed at the top of the stack for more flavoring. The meat is roasted slowly on all sides as the spit rotates in front of, or over, a flame for hours. Traditionally, a wood fire was used; but now, a gas flame is common. While specialty restaurants might offer two or more meat selections, some establishments have just one skewer.
While cooking, the meat is shaved off the stack with a large knife, an electric knife or a small circular saw, dropping to a circular tray below to be retrieved.
For me, personally, I recently had a shawarma after nearly three years, having come down with a bout of stomach infection the last time I had it. Though it was never conclusively proved the shawarma did it, I nevertheless gave it a go-by. I have taken the chance again, and so far, all is well!