Friday, 16 November 2012

Doctor Zhivago

History has taught us how our ancestors had used mottes, great walls, barbed wires and other sorts of barriers as defense mechanisms against external forces. It is clear now the legacy of building up the defensive borders continue to exist in the present world. On the other fronts, faithful believers, in the past and present, have performed their religious rituals consistently to protect their faith and to keep them from darkness.  Today, I was just thinking to myself what sort of defense system that I have that works to protect the core of my beliefs and principles. Frankly speaking, I'm defenseless. I have been too open to assorted kinds of thoughts, ideologies, philosophies, lifestyle and fallacy. I have adopted some of them into my so called contaminated life. Consequently, my core values that define who I really am have become vague subjects and been compromised big time. With my core values corroding, I sometimes struggle in my life finding my true self in some situations. While battling my own issues, recently, I came across passages from Doctor Zhivago.....

'Everything has changed suddenly - the tone, the moral climate, you didn't know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgement you respected.' 

The words poke on my nerve. At the point of digesting the words, I realize how lonely and fragile I have become despite having lived in so enriching crowd for so many seasons. There is a series of work to re-assses the set of my core values, to re-built what is left of it and to reinforce the defensive line around it. I hate to admit it, but, yes, I'm in mid-life crisis and I have a serious construction work going on in my head....

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Moving On....

I don't have much to shout about my new habitat. I haven't really settle whole-heartedly yet. In my dreams, I still find myself wondering the familiar corners of the old place. In my waking hours, I still find myself crossing the desert to the old playground a few times in a month. Sometimes it's just hard to let go and move on. But the thought of starting a new chapter and the thrill of embarking a new adventure, really turn me on....

Monday, 5 March 2012

It's been many worlds since then....

Hadiff is missing a friend.
 I feel for him and his great loss

Sushi Sashimi RIP. 
See you someday, Sushi. 

Today we walked

in melting snow

hid inside,

making fire and tea

I met you when I was wandering

it's been many worlds since then

though my secrets are wild and deep

and my mind races while I sleep

I will plant my hunger here

in you

Secrets - Alexa Woodwards

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A Renewed Life in the Sandpit

Life in the sandpit

The other day, I dragged myself on a hot and humid day to an authorized centre for blood screening. It is a mandatory process for the renewal of residence visa in UAE. After a few days I got my passport attached with the new residence visa which allows me to have the legal right to play in this sandpit for another 3 years. So how's life in the sandpit after 3 years? Had I gained much from it? Was it worth it? Did I have fun? How many years more am I destined to be here? These are the introspective questions that hit me as I look at the new sticker nicely attached on my passport. I said to myself, only God knows, nothing is certain in this sandpit but all I know for now, I've had a good playtime. I could've played harder and that's exactly what I should be doing this new season. Have a sweet and sweaty summer!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Kullunna Khalifa

It has been 39 years since the flag that represents the seven emirates was raised for the first time. It may not be that long compared to the historical emergence of other nations. But the emirates have gone through  a rapid transformation over the years. Before 1971 the seven emirates were collectively known as the Trucial States, a name that originated from maritime agreements between the British and the leading sheikhs of the tribes. Today, the seven emirates benefit from the unity that has been solidified for 39 years and the prosperity that has come along with it. It was a long weekend for us here since we are celebrating the National Day on the 2nd December and also Maal Hijrah on the 5th December. I was on my road trip visiting the emirates to enjoy the present day of this beautiful and blessed country. It amazed me somehow when reflecting what I saw along the road trip with the old photos of UAE  that I googled earlier. It is indeed a rapid transformation. Kullunna Khalifa means 'We are all for Khalifa', is a phrase which has been used for this year UAE's 39th National Day celebrations. It is written everywhere across the emirates to mark the respect and admiration for President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The day was 2nd December 1971

The Father and His Flag
The old photographs of the past

Paul took a snap of Eric, Robin and me on our road trip across the emirates on a long weekend

Monday, 29 November 2010

Lovely Jumeirah

I visit Jumeirah so frequently in this mild November weather. Jumeirah is not my new girlfriend though I would like it very much to imagine that I have one. It is kind of sexy name, don't you think? The name is so feminine, seductive and ancient. I googled up and  discovered that Jumeirah is indeed ancient. The name carries significant history of this region. This is what has been written about it, "This affluent suburb to the south of Dubai city is the location of an important archaeological site dating to the early Islamic period. Large houses built of beach rock (farush) covered with lime plaster have been excavated at Jumeirah by a team from the Dubai Museum. Based on a study of the pottery found at the site, Jumeirah seems to date to the first two or three centuries of the Islamic era. Thus, it is in part contemporary with the sequence at Kush in northern Ras al-Khaimah, and with Jazirat al-Hulaylah. Jumeirah is, however, the only complete settlement with well-preserved architecture yet excavated from this important period. A selection of the finds from Jumeirah can be seen in the Dubai Museum."

So it comes as no surprise that Jumeirah has always been a favourite place now and then. It is now an iconic place for beach goers. A place one can view the tallest building looming inland. A place to chill out, to just let go, to get half naked (sorry nudists, they can tolerate bikinis here but nothing less) and get soaked by the sun and seawater. A place that inspires people to come out and play.  

 These guys would probably said happily to each other, "Yalla, it's a beach day!" in Urdu

Burj Khalifa standing tall in the background. From here one can really tell how tall it is.

Me and my sundowning moment

These young Arabs were taking their wudhuk prior to Maghrib prayers

The water gets colder at night and soon it's going to be too cold for nightswimming

Friday, 26 November 2010

Staring At The Sky

As I was driving absent-mindedly along the familiar street without congestion and the anxiety of being late on a fine lazy day, I looked up at the sky more than once, to catch the natural work of art. I didn't really look at it rather seriously until my Scottish pal, John, on the passenger's seat, gazed at the sky so intensely and said to me that God has saved him from the miserable rain and cold weather of Edinburgh this year. He is so glad that he is here and then he will spend several months in the exotic city called Chiang Mai in Thailand. He said the people in Scotland get so depressed in the winter up there, consumed piles of fries and fried stuffs including fried Snickers bars and they will die young of depression or on the unhealthy diet. I was laughing at his pathetic view of his own country and countrymen. That was when I looked at the sky again and the word  mashallah popped out from my head. Indeed, the sky was so blue and beautiful with the uncommon white tinges and smudges. I smiled and said to myself, right now, there's no other place that I want to be other than this sunny city with the mild winter weather.

I have been deserting this playground for a long while and I just came to know two of my favourite bloggers are no longer here to share the same sky. The flamboyant young architect had left the emirates and so had  the awesome mother of two. I have never met both but somehow it seemed like I knew them in person from just reading their stories. I wish them happiness in their new playground elsewhere. It also hits me that another virtual friend who makes magical mocha with her signature recipe, has come to stay close to the city, not sure where exactly, but close enough for her to stare at the same sky. I wish her bienvenue and all the best in making a wonderful living in this arid land.