Just another day at work

Earlier at work today, the lady who joined at the position that i wanted to work in, asked a question. To be precise, she asked not one, but two VERY dumb questions. It’s not the questions themselves but the person who was asking them that made me mad. This person claims to have lived and worked in the country for over a decade. And the questions she asked were closely related to the work she has done in the past. Even if it didn’t, believe you me, even a school kid could’ve answered them! 

Today’s incident re-enforced my belief that in Dubai, as long as someone is from a particular nationality and looks a certain way, they will be hired despite lacking in qualifications (or even average intelligence).

I suppose some people are just plain lucky to reach where they do. I wait with bated breath for the day when her below-average intelligence is unleashed on others, as it was unleashed today on me.

Until then, i will keep picturing this in my head. Thank god for small joys.

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Death Pays a Visit. Again.

I think the first time i heard of dying was being told by my mom there wouldn’t be school next day after waking up in middle of the night. There are blurry memories of her telling me grandpa had passed away and we must behave and keep out of the way when at home for a few days. 

The next time i heard of death was in secondary school, when a close friend suddenly and tragically lost her mother to a cardiac arrest. But perhaps at the time, i was too young to fully grasp the meaning of losing a parent. Or any family member for that matter. I was more concerned about acting ‘normal’ around my friend. The only thing i remember distinctly is to this day i haven’t seen her shed tears over this loss. All i keep thinking is how strong she is. 

I suppose the first time i actually ‘understood’ death was a few years ago, on demise of my grandmother. It wasn’t sudden. Yet, it managed to shock and sadden us. I can’t remember when exactly it was that we managed to come out of it; i guess time and memories acted as a healer, until one day we just moved on. 

One afternoon last month death greeted me once again. Only this time, it came uninvited. My mom’s brother passed away as a result of strong cardiac arrest. For a few hours after receiving the news, a part of me was refusing to give in and believe that the tragedy had taken place. i mean, how could it even be possible? We had taken a vacation together just 2 months ago and were already planning another one with family in the coming months. It was so surreal. Since then, i’ve spent so many hours just reflecting and thinking to myself about the unpredictability of life. Or death rather.

And this line of thought came back again to haunt me yesterday. Death once again greeted, not close to home but close enough to leave me shocked and numb. A close friend of my brother lost his mom yesterday morning. After suffering a relapse and fighting for over two months, she was defeated by cancer. After all these years, it is perhaps the first time that I have started fearing loss of a dear one. My heart weeps for the young boy who has been suddenly forced to grow up. Having lost his father in childhood, he has watched his mother battle cancer while trying to come terms with the harsh realities of life. He now has to take care of himself and his older brother who is diagnosed with a physical condition and is disabled for life. When i met him earlier today, his eyes had a faraway look, as if searching and hoping for his mother to come back to him. He was trying to be so strong, for his brother, for his extended family, for himself, and above all for his mothers soul. I cannot even begin to imagine what thoughts must be going through his head a this moment. God give the family and especially these young boys the strength and courage to come out of this difficult time. Nobody deserves to be in this situation. Nobody at all.

Since yesterday, i’ve been searching for answers within and from the power above. Why does life test those who are most vulnerable? Why does tragedy befall those who have done nothing but good all their life? So many questions, but no answers. I am slowly turning into the person who no longer expects any good in the world. Slowly realising what stares as us each day in the face. The importance of family, parents, siblings and friends. Why does it take death of a dear one to remind us how small all of us are. Nothing matters except giving each other love and making another happy. Who cares what clothes you wear, who cares about the car you drive, how rich you are. Only the laughter and memories matter. 

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Eid Break – Drive to Sila’a

I accompanied a few friends on a road trip to explore Sila’a, a small town located near the southern border of UAE. The drive towards south of UAE is a long one and is majorly made up of  a never-ending highway overlooking the coast of gulf. Marked with sparkling blue green waters on one side and desert on the other, let not the lonely highway put you off. Loads of small places to be discovered and explored along the way. However, one needs to be mindful of areas they can visit, as most places along this route are under military control, belong to corporates for offshore oil exploration or are private properties belonging to members of the royal family. On our trip, we managed to discover a property literally in the middle of nowhere, and also one that coincidentally belonged to a local sheikh. Luckily for us, the sole caretaker (who appeared and disappeared quickly and magically) was pretty sweet and allowed us to photograph the beautiful waters standing atop their land.

Also, as no trip that takes you through the capital city of Abu Dhabi is complete without visiting the Grand Mosque, we chose to take a quick stopover there as well. I got lucky and got a chance to click it in the evening light this time around 🙂

Below are a few pictures from the trip. All pictures are clicked on EOS650D with a standard lens and have not been retouched. I think the colours look absolutely gorgeous captured in natural light! I only wish I had jotted down names of routes or areas that we stopped at to click them, don’t think will be able to point other travellers to these places, mostly because i forget where they are!

Enjoy!

PS – In case you’re wondering what happened to pictures of the town, you can stop. Thanks to our adventures along the way, we didn’t make it to Sila’a. Hopefully some other time! x

 

Let's Dive In!

Let’s Dive In!

 

 

Lonely Boat

Lonely Boat

Calm Waters

Calm Waters

Sun Setting on the Desert

Sun Setting on the Desert

The Lonely Highway

The Lonely Highway

Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Aside

Family. Can’t Live with ’em, can’t live without.

Having hit one of the worse phases emotionally in so many years, I slowly feel my soul losing faith in people i’ve worked tirelessly to please all my life. How stupid have i been all this while! Oh, the wishes i have buried deep inside, the dreams i have deleted from memory even before they took complete shape, only because i was afraid it may not be good enough to please them. You know, I never thought of the things as sacrifices but merely as steps that would make me more visible and important in their lives, only to find out my good wasn’t just good enough. It isn’t now and it never was.

I am just so tired of arguing all the time. There has never been a thing i have truly desired and received with a smile. It’s like i have to earn my happiness by justifying why i am worth it. For the past week I’ve been walking amongst strangers trying to find solace. There’ a fake smile plastered on my face, but inside i’ve just been breaking down, little by little inside each day.

Finally I throw my hat in the ring today. Giving up. That’s it. No more of this trying to be the perfect someone for somebody. If people like perfect, they should try and fix themselves up first. From this moment, i have decided to think only of myself first. No family, no parents, no siblings, no society, no friends, nothing. MYSELF. The rest can go take a hike. Done with listening to bullshit from people who don’t matter, yet seem to control situations around me.

My heart may have broken but the soul is still intact. I will rise again, only this time it will be only for myself.

Circle of Life

Life and Death are two sides of a coin. Such a cliched line, isn’t it? One we try to get through with eyes open and not complain about, and the other we’re afraid to think about.

There are so many unfortunate things that you see happening to other people, but never for a second imagine it could ever happen to you. But it takes near experience of death to sit up and take notice of life. Especially when it occurs close to home. It’s only when tragedy strikes closer to home do you start questioning, and trying to make sense of life in a larger picture.

Don’t  you think death is the worst game cheater out there? Always playing games with our minds. Sometimes it makes one wait years before taking them in, and at times, it comes unannounced, not caring whether the person is ready or not.

As if it’s trying to say, time’s up buddy, it’s time to finally head home. And what can you do when that happens? Wave goodbye and fly away silently.

But does it even think about people that get left behind, after it takes away the most precious part of their existence?

All they can do is shed tears. Tears for the feeling of loneliness yet to arrive. Tears for the moments that could’ve been lived, shared and laughed about. Tears for the hours, the night before, where the only thought was the hopefulness of the next day.

But slowly the tears dry up and they wave back. Wishing the departed soul, much more love and laughter in their next life.

Such is life. You just get through it trying to make it count and then one fine day, poof! it’s gone. Forever. Taken over by death, the circle of life completes itself.

Goodbye

Aside

I met an intolerant idiot.

A few weeks back, i met a person i had befriended on twitter through a common contact. I like meeting new people and in general have met genuinely talented and amazing people from the twitter world. Hence, i didn’t think twice before saying yes to a casual meet with the person in question.

We met over dinner and i came away thinking that it went pretty well. Our conversation ranged from discussing life in general in Dubai and Bombay where he currently resides, love interests, professional opinions, television likes and dislikes as well as viewpoints on current state of politics in India and the intertwining role played by religion in affecting it. Pretty normal conversation for someone meeting for the first time. Or so i thought.

Early next morning, while lingering over a cup of coffee, my half-asleep brain was rudely awakened by a few back-to-back very nastily worded tweets, all with cc to me, by this person. All of them revolving around religious and political ideologies of a certain political leader that we had discussed the previous evening. My first reaction was obviously WTHeeey! I carefully read it a few times over to figure out what exactly was the message that was being sent to me. And more importantly, why?

I played out our dinner conversation in my mind over and over again to figure out if i had said anything so offensive or unacceptable to be meted out such treatment. After incessantly focusing and thinking over each tiny detail, i came to the conclusion that i had suddenly been thrown into a situation where i had to deal with a person who seemed reasonable until it came to accepting a political viewpoint so varyingly different to their own.

Here is the thing, based on his tweets, i knew his dislike towards a certain political party and more specifically, a political leader. I openly state the fact that I probably am not the best person to dish out the most knowledgeable opinion on situations and political governance of countries that i have never lived in. But I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to have a viewpoint. One that is formed based on personal experiences and things and ideas that they see, hear about and come across. What I am absolutely against however, is any person trying to influence or change that viewpoint to match their own by wrongfully using statements expressed to make a point during a PRIVATE conversation.

Which is exactly what happened with me. This person used a so called Twitter ‘celeb’s tweets to push their own opinion and to get me to justify my own. What he did not realize was that I am not one of those who can be moved into saying and accepting something just because somebody else is forcing me to. No sir, i do not respond to hate and moreover do not back down from showing hateful and intolerant people the exit door. Once i had a fair idea of the person’s intent, I only responded with a firm message that made it clear that neither did i have the time nor the patience to get into discussions with people those who had already decided it’s outcome.

The thing that pissed me off the most about the episode was the casual way in which a statement i had casually expressed during the conversation was used to turn tables towards me and ‘show’ me how wrong i was to think like that. Seriously IMHO, why don’t people just get life and get past opinions they can’t control. Express yourself but don’t expect everyone to agree wholeheartedly with you just because you think they should. I don’t go behind people for thinking in a certain way and do not appreciate people sticking their useless post-it’s on mine.

One thing i learnt from this episode is that it’s best to stick to safe topics, at least when meeting somebody for the first time. You never know how and when they come behind you to bite you later in the ass.

x

 

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Postcard Journeys – Agra

Postcard Journeys - Agra

Taj by the River Yamuna

With a perfect late evening sky as the backdrop, the Taj Mahal stands out like a lotus in mucky waters. Standing proud on the bank of the almost dried-up River Yamuna on one side and chaos of the city of Agra on the other, the beauty of the Taj brightens up everything around it. This piece of timeless heritage requires no special camera equipment or light effects to appear more nicer, it manages to look mindlessly beautiful from every angle, in every season and time of day!