Little bird, little bird,
Fly through my window,…
Little bird, little bird,
Little bird, little bird,
Fly through my window,…
I returned home early today as there was not much volume of work leaving the office at the hands of Mustafa & Ibrahim. I told them that they might call me if needed as I was leaving for home.
After reaching home, I received an invitation from Ouss for having lunch with them on Facebook chat. It has been a long time that we have properly met. So, I immediately accepted his offer. He said that he would come to pick me up at circa 3.30 pm.
Ouss called me at 3.15 pm and told me that he is waiting in his car outside the gate of our complex. I was ready by then. I got down immediately and we drove down to his house. They also stay close by.
Soon after reaching their house, Teeba laid the lunch on the table. Their daughter Deema has started helping her mother. Hmmm, she is growing up! Girls grow up fast. Their younger kid – Hassony was busy in games on iPad.
Teeba served kibbeh shorba, salads, baba ghanoush, pickles, chicken biryani, and yoghurt. All the items were delicious. I would have licked my fingers had I used my hand while eating. I have enjoyed dishes cooked by Teeba before also. She is a lovely cook.
One of our friends, Rafeef also stays near to their house. She joined us after our lunch. We had nice gossips while sipping tea. Our gossips continued while we savoured ice cream.
I didn’t realize that I was there for four hours until I saw the clock hanging on the wall. It was 7.15 pm then. I asked Ouss to drop me at my house back. Rafeef, Teeba & Ouss drove me back to my house.
Thanks to my friends – Teeba & Ouss for making my otherwise lazy, lonely afternoon wonderful.
Today has been declared as a public holiday in Baghdad to commemorate the death of Imam Moussa ibn Jaafar al-Kadhim, the seventh of 12 principal Shiite imams, who died in 799. Shiites walk for hours, and often for days, from across the country to reach the mosque in Kadhimiyah, known for its twin golden domes. The mosque was built atop what were believed to be the tombs of Imam al-Kadhim and his grandson – Imam Muhammad al-Taqi, the ninth of 12 principal Shiite imams.
Hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims converged on the golden-domed shrine as security forces tightened security after a wave of deadly attacks across Iraq. Many of the main streets in Baghdad were closed in recent days to prevent attacks on the pilgrims, who travel on foot.
The traffic restrictions caused hardships to many of my colleagues. Many of them couldn’t come to the bank yesterday. The working hour was reduced by one hour since Sunday. Yesterday, it was decreased by two hours so that all the employees could reach home safe and in time.
The holiday has been declared today only in Baghdad province. Therefore, all our branches outside Baghdad province are working as a normal business day. So, the banking system will be fully operational today. The branches need support from head office as well as some transactions need authorizations. All routine checks are to be carried out to ensure the transactions are booked and recorded properly. So the back office is open today.
I am in the office to supervise the back office work and for authorizing the required transactions. I stay in the office complex and hence it’s not a problem for me. Mustafa stays close by and so he has come. Ibrahim also can manage to come to office walking, so he too has come today. The vehicles are not allowed on the road today in Baghdad. As the Baghdad branches, and Head Office are closed, so the volume of work is much less today.
“If you have a work instead of a job, every day is holiday” ― Paulo Coelho
Happy World Environment Day to everyone! Today is also World Environment Day. Let’s make it everyday.
Yesterday, Akhtar invited me for dinner at his house. He has come to Baghdad about a week ago. Thanks to Facebook calendar, I remembered that today is his birthday. Last year I was not here last year around. But last to last year, Prasad & I went to his house with a cake on his birthday.
In the evening at around 7.30pm I walked down to his house and wished him again. I had already wished him on his birthday. We started celebrating his birthday with single malt whiskey on the rocks, while watching a nice Bollywood comedy film – Bheja Fry 2 on B4U channel. I like Vinay Pathak for his comic timing.
After our drinks, the dinner followed. There were paratha, rice, dal makhani, aloo subzi, chicken butter masala followed by a type of kheer – it was sweetened, condensed milk. It’s a nice, sumptuous dinner at his house on his 57th birthday.
I walked back home at around 10.00pm. Thanks, Akhtar for the nice evening and dinner. I wish you again a very happy birthday, Akhtar.
This week started with a dusty morning yesterday. It became hazier as the day progressed. Later in the afternoon, the dusts settled down to a clear sky. Little did we know then that there would be a sudden change in the weather from a hot, dusty day to a cool, cloudy, wet morning!
I was waked up at 4.00 am by the night’s silence killing thunders and intermittent lightning splitting the sky here and there and lighting up my windows. I could also hear the music of rain as it was raining mildly then. I opened my windows; a gush of fresh, wet winds swept through my room brushing my sleepy eyes. I love the smell of rain-wet earth. It takes me back down my memory lane, when as a child I used to play in rain water filled ground, in mud in gay abandon. There was a fun then even getting slapped by my mother as she had to wash and clean those soiled, muddied dresses. Mothers are the God’s best gift to the humanity.
This fresh coolness was weighing more on my sleepy eyes, much better than the air-conditioned air inside. I closed the window and went to my bed to be woken up by the alarm at 6.00 am.
Yesterday was dusty and this morning started with thunder and lighting. It’s a welcome contrast. It reminded me of a line from a poem of Rabindranath Tagore –
When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.
Since the morning, billowy white clouds are lazily drifting across the sea-blue Baghdad sky today. It made the morning beautiful, bright, and quite pleasant.
“The first thing I notice is the sky, so full of blue and the kind of brilliant white clouds that make you ecstatic to have eyes. Nothing can go wrong under this sky…” ― Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere
The birds are also seen enjoying this weather as Baghdad is getting ready to welcome yet another ultra-hot summer.
The moment the date palm trees bloom, it is a warning sign to all from nature that – the summer has arrived. It is now the start of a new season, a new cycle. Slowly, the now flowered dates will develop, grow, and ripe as the summer reaches its peak. In Iraq, summer is very dry, and hot with day time temperature shooting beyond 50 degrees Celsius. I like any blossoming as it heralds a new life, a new hope despite all odds. It’s a harbinger of new beginning!
It’s a cool, cloudy day today with some light drizzle in the early morning. This is a lovely break from other warm days. Well, summer is just at the doorstep.
As I started posting this article, it started raining! I love the music of rain as it hits the ground. I love the smell of the earth when it rains.