Bahrain- The smallest country I have ever been to, with a population of 6 lakhs (of which 3 lakhs are indians) and travelling from one corner to the other takes a maximum of an hour (if there's 'traffic' then an additional 15 mins MAX).
one of my favourite places in the world, the mere mention of which brings a smile to my face. A place I will always associate with good times and lots of happiness. Bahrain was home for the past three and a half years, and now, as the family is moving back to Delhi, I feel strange; im thrilled that they're coming back, because the wait has been long. Im ecstatic at the idea of the four of us together in Delhi again. Im finally going to be 'home' again.
But Bahrain was really special. I loved the 'small-ness' and the 'everybody knows everybody' feeling one got there. You couldnt even go to the hospital without bumping into someone you know (of course it could get pretty intrusive sometimes, but still). I loved the fact that me and my brother were 'celebrity kids'- our parents were pretty well known there, and going from the anonymity of life in Delhi, it was quite fun being important there!
For my 3rd year project, I travelled the length and breadth of Bahrain, interviewing 16 families. It was in many ways, one of the most humbling experiences of my life, coz i relived many moments of their lives with them. Whenever I saw any member of any of these 16 families later on, I was always greeted warmly; that means a LOT of warm greetings :)
there was MUCH that was characteristic of Bahrain- the variety of food (Italian, Mexican, Lebanese, even the Indian...and of course the junk food, the cheese, the chocolates, the fruit juices), the laziness that used to overpower me the minute i landed at the airport, and manifested in forms of endless sleeping and tv watching during my stay, the random outings with my parents to various social events, people giving speeches at ALL occasions (even wedding receptions)...it was all so Bahrain.
I wanted to write this post for quite some time...but now that i have finally come down to it, i realize how difficult it is to write about Bahrain. It's hard to pin down what I loved about the place, and what I will miss. It's strange to get used to the idea that there will be no more trips to Bahrain, that perhaps Ill never be back there again in quite the same way. Goodbyes have never been easy, and this one is tremendously bittersweet.