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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Desire to Flee Qatar’s Blazing Sun

Oh, who said vacation is a luxury? After coming to Qatar I have realized that it’s not, it is a necessity! In India we used to go on vacations and it was like falling in love again and again… a love which I always anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia. Back home, living nearly 10 years in Bangalore, if there was one season that brought both smile and frown on our face, it had to be summer. While many in Qatar dislike the sweltering summer heat, the breezy summer days in Bangalore made us beam with joy… the clear skies, the blazing sun, the gentle summer breeze and the lazy afternoons flavoured the season with passion and warm love. Suddenly, I used to remember the lines of Shakespeare: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate…” The city, which is known as ‘Air-conditioned City’ is blessed with salubrious climate throughout the year. I still remember my dad telling me that most of the homes and schools in Bangalore did not have fans till the 1990s, not because they had no money, but because there was no need for one. In summer while the rest of the country wilted in the heat, residents of Bangalore would snuggle under warm blankets while sleeping. Several gardens, parks trees along the roads add to the cool climate of the city.

After moving to Qatar, where summers are extremely hot, I miss Bangalore. As everybody knows, residents of Qatar — who are rich, thanks to the oil-driven economy — long to avoid the scorching heat of this summer by going on vacation to cooler countries. Who would love no fluctuation in weather — eternal sunshine and cloudless skies? Their desire to flee the blazing summer anywhere between 45 and 50 degree Celsius is imaginable. Even though they have their air-conditioned comfort, they want to escape from that artificial cocoon of comfort. Plus, everybody gets Eid holidays and all they want to do is escape from this heat and enjoy some good weather. And we cannot be an exception to this. When most of the Indians go home for the vacation, we had to plan something to make this summer a memorable one.

Last month, when my hubby said we will go to Meghalaya for vacation, I was like, “Oh man, this can’t be your idea. Who told you about this place to you?” Then, I had forgotten all about it and then one day appeared the culprit — Sajid a.k.a.Saji, my hubby’s friend — who had given him the idea of visiting Meghalaya. So after a few days, we decided that we – I, Vij, Saji, Umer and Shahid — would explore and do a ‘rain dance’ in Meghalaya.

Saji kept on doing online research if there’s any tension in the North-Eastern state and whenever he found something bad on Shillong Times, we used to get disappointed thinking we may not be able to visit the place. Looking for hotels, sightseeing, food, transport, purchase… what not, everything was in our talks. After planning so much and discussing things into late nights, my hubby used to disappoint me by telling that someone has been killed in Meghalaya, there’s a landslide, there’s a protest etc etc. But I was pleased to know that last week, things have sorted out, tickets are booked and we are at last packing our bags to Meghalaya. Yes, I also know that vacation is a time when we often take twice the clothes and half the money we need. Oops, no worries, my hubby will take care of it ;) Visiting Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and other nearby places… a week away from newly found home (Qatar) and yet in the old home (India)… what more can I say, we’re excited! There’s lot to see, lot to enjoy. So keep waiting for more…

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