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.”

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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

Why People Love Living in the Gulf

In all my travels outside the gulf region, i’ve had atleast one conversation with local people on the lines of the below. This region and specifically the UAE are so much talked about and reported world over that people who’ve never been here have dreamt up a certain kind of over-the-top-larger-than-life image about the place (i’ve been asked if we get sandstorms like one filmed on Tom Cruise in MI4. Don’t even get me started on that!)

The conversation usually goes something like this –

Them: where are you from?

Me: Dubai
(because that’s where i’ve been raised and technically the only thing that stands in way of me calling it my ‘real’ home is lack of citizenship. Anyhow you get the drift, answer to that question is usually Dubai)

Them: DUBAIII?!!! WOW HOW IS IT TO LIVE IN BURJ!

Me: o_O No i don’t live in the Burj, we have other normal buildings. But i can see it from where i live! (Because boasting comes naturally to folks from dubai teehehe)

Them: oooh we’ve heard so much about the place, we want to move there!

Me: Good luck with that!

So, for all you guys who’ve had similar talks with travellers from the gulf, here is something to answer all your root questions. Everything that you read may seem FUNNY but is really TRUE. But you can experience it only if you decide to move here with an open mind.

Have a dekko for a laugh 😀

Why Living In The Middle East is Awesome

xx