October 2013, we shifted to Doha. It was a huge jump for us, leaving UAE, our home for almost a decade. We reluctantly packed our bags and bid good bye to our friends who were as good as family. Doha, the capital of Qatar, was not what we expected. Much smaller than Dubai or Abu Dhabi, everything about it seemed a little less compared to what we left behind. But ‘Destination Doha’ was inevitable.
Knowing that this shift was not easy for me or my kids,my husband suggested that we look for accommodation in a compound. A compound meant a group of villas and enough outdoor area for kids to play. We combed the city for a nice a compound. One compound which was quite close to my husband’s office and the kids’ school, stole our heart. Villa was homely and the outdoors was simply beautiful with four rows of villas inside an Indian dominated compound. We moved in and set up our new life here. Used to the life of apartments, the roomy villa was a pleasant change.
While we missed Abu Dhabi and our friends badly, we got busy in trying to strike friendship with our new neighbors. We were lucky, our kids had enough company to play with. I set out to know the ladies in the compound. One or two get-togethers and I found myself amidst a group of enthusiastic, talented ladies. I was glad that they were friendly and welcomed me open heartedly. Hailing from all corners of India, we have a diverse group, that brings in so much variety be it food, culture and topics of discussion.
Because supermarkets and other shopping destinations are far off ladies here go shopping in groups. We book a taxi and then set off. These outings not only got us our groceries but also good times. I love the outings with these spirited ladies, be it
movies, concerts or just a coffee in a cafe.
Any place however dreary becomes tolerable if we find the right company. This compound and the people living here helped us ease into a routine, here, in Doha. Having very few acquaintances and friends outside the compound, this has become our little world. Kids are happy they have friends and ample space for a game of football or cycling. They love the community living and I hardly worry when they are outdoors as I know they are safe and one of us is always around to keep an eye.
Apart from friends, what I still miss is the public transport system in UAE. That gave us a freedom to set off anywhere, anytime. While in Doha unless you have your own transport, you need to book taxis, ahead of time. Spoilt to choice back in Abu Dhabi for restaurants or recreational activities, here we find those available in a limit.
But drawbacks doesn’t stop us from living a good life. Past two years we have made good friends, found enough activities to keep us engaged. The compound as always has been our haven. Our neighbors are not just neighbors but an extended family. It is a support system in itself.
Even though it was a reluctant shift, Doha is home now. Life is not permanent here too, but while here, we are busy making memories and leading a meaningful life. There is still lots to learn and explore and we look forward to it.