Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Weekend: Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd December 2011

As with the previous weekends, I decided to do something different this time as well. On Thursday, I chose to explore the area on the other side of the main Riyadh-Makkah highway. To do this, I had to discover the best way to reach the other side of the highway without danger to myself, as there is no legal crossing nearby. The one that I used was an under-surface bypass meant for vehicles. This is a road that dips below the highway and goes at an exact perpendicular to it. I walked to it and went in. This is a single lane road, and I was worried about what I would do in case a vehicle came by (from either direction). The under-surface road is used sparingly, and both sides of it and in the center of it are accumulated weeks of untouched sand that looks pristine and unpolluted. There was no gravel in the sand, and rolling it in the palm gave a feeling of smoothness just below the level of, say, glass, or satin.

I had chosen to do this exploration in the heat of the afternoon, and so, had started from home just after dhuhur. I was past the central under-pass with no vehicular traffic within half an hour, and on to the opposite side. Most of the  structures - a petrol pump, some garages, many spare-parts shops and a few of the restaurants - were closed and would re-open after Asr prayers. However, the scarce numbers of people gave me an opportunity to see the various edifices in detail. I located the government bus stand (SAPTCO) and a Kerala hotel on this side as well, although both were closed. After this reconnaisance, I also ventured out on to the side roads to see where there were breaks in the fences put up by the authorities, so that in the event of my wanting to cross the highway in future, I would do so easily and without having to walk a lot.

In the evening, I went out into the main road market after Maghrib prayers, and bought a few things, including  a 10 kg bag of whole wheat flour, which I planned to make chapatis out of on Friday. I also purchased a new set of earphones with a microphone. In addition to these things, I also cooked a few dishes on Thursday.

On Friday, I made a breakfast of a reconstituted Nestle veg-noodle soup with slices of bread, but I am sorry to share that this did not turn out to be a good combination. For lunch, Dr. Narendra invited me to his place, and I went there happily. He had made the most delicious chicken curry, which we had with Khubs. I had made chapatis at home today, but I had made only half a dozen, so I did not take them with me to his place to share with him. Maybe I will do  this when I visit his place the next time. You have probably already read and seen the accompanying photos of my chapati experiment. 

Sadly, I had eaten so much at lunch that I skipped dinner altogether, and made do with a flavoured glass of milk and a single small banana. 

I saw a few movies this weekend; on Thursday, I saw the balance of a Hindi movie that I had seen in part on Wednesday, and on Friday, I saw the legendary movie "Lawrence of Arabia". The movie was spellbinding, if a little slow, and it touched something in my heart. If you are reading this, do make it a point to get this movie and see it. Although it is very old, it has been restored digitally as late as in 1998, and it is a pleasure to see this movie.

No comments: