Time

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It’s been 2 years.

2 years ago, I remember walking down this way, taking in the beauty of the Mandovi, the simplicity of the lighthouse and the greens, complimenting the cultural hub of Goa, Kala Academy, one of the masterpieces of the architect Charles Correa.

We were then, 2 years into being students of the vastness called Architecture, laughing our hearts away, clicking endlessly fake candids exploiting the beauty around us.

Who knew, 2 years later, I would stand at this very spot, in the very clothes, looking away into the Mandovi, miles away from those people, reminiscing about these moments?

This time, is a funny thing.
It takes you to places, puts you in situations, make you experience things that you never even dreamt of.

Maybe another two years down the lane, I may have something more interesting and intriguing to share. Well, who knows?

May I have the good fortune to do so. In Sha Allah.

Rose

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To the girl, who smiled through all the odds, who had my respect from day one, who had my love as I came to know her. This was the only thing I could consider giving her as a memoir, because I knew, Art, she would keep it close to her heart, it was like her breath. And I gave her something that she asked of me, something of mine, which I believed she needed more. I pray that it guides you and show you the light in the darkest of times.

Black. Blue. Green.
Black is you. Your underlying soul. Solid and strong. Not the usual vulnerable and depressive, solid and strong.

Blue is your love. The glittering waters and the crashing waves have your attention, every single time. They listened to you all the while. They hugged you when you seeked.

Green is your future. Peace and prosper. Nature and the wild. Just like your untamed heart, hair and height. May you scale more.

Believe girl, in you. Because you are the music that’s too good for some, but right in for you. Because you are the breath, who is free and strong enough to show the world, what you are made of. Because you are one, when set on, can conquer the world.

Let it all go.
Live. Love.

Ghost of a Past, Glamour of a Present

I was watching Dubai on TV today. Dubai, is a 2001 Malayalam movie, starring our very own Mammooty in its title role.

Well, that film was filmed in dubai for its three quarter portion, but the Dubai in the background is unrecognizable. Its surrounded by clear mountains, buildings not even a quarter of The Khalifa’s size, being given a prominence of picturing the ‘big city’. That Dubai, 15 years younger, was just emerging, with its purity still in place, just like any other Middle Eastern city. But then, the face of Dubai changed. Glittering skyscrapers, posh cars, glamorous lifestyle equals Dubai now. It had successfully taken its name on the list of the world cities, until it lost its lusture. There used to be a time, when I always bugged my father to take us to Dubai for a family vacation. I used to religiously follow the TV programmes featuring the Dubai Shopping Festival to take my share of the colourful cities. In those programs, I saw expat families like mine, enjoying their life in a colorful world, in contrast to my mundane restricted life in a country next to UAE. My innocent eyes saw the glitter in their eyes, the love in the togetherness, bits and pieces of the whole world in a small city. I remember I would tell myself, that some day, I would go for the festival and buy a little something from every country’s stall. Well, that dream is still unfulfilled. My eyes has never witnessed the wonders of Dubai from land. Witnessing it from the sky, everytime you fly in Emirates airlines, with a connection in the Dubai Intl Airport doesn’t count.

So I was just wondering, how much that little city called Dubai transformed within a span of a few years. At times I wonder, if my little city, which I so dearly call home, would transform one day, to one that I would never be able to recognize someday. The thought scares me. The congestion in Batha and Hara, with its buzzing streets full of expats, small residential buildings and shopping complexes that are food to many. The roads that sell various things and sellers who run at the very sound of the Baladiya. The yellow trucks with yellow uniformed men, who clean the city when its residents are still waking up from their slumbers and going back home to rest after another day. Olaya, our developed part, which houses our dearest 2 towers – The Faisaliyyah (The Needle Tower) and Kingdom Tower (The Necklace Tower), the posh hotels and restaurants, that seemed to exist in another world, so different from mine. Malaz, another semi developed area. Deerah, with its traditional markets and mud structures and the court, majestically standing amidst the mud structures. Naseem, with our schools and quite residential villas and vehicle showrooms. And many other smaller parts unique in their own way. The malls, with its splendid infrastructure, bringing the world to us. The masjids, around every corner offering moments of peace. The main cross bridge in the Road, its been a part of my life since the day I started understanding things. We crossed it, daily twice, during our commute to and fro the school. That croos bridge with its swirling road, used to take my little mind wo the world beyond the worls infront of me.The parks with its date palms, lining the lanes, kids fearless, the bullies in the slides and swings waiting to push us around or scare us away. The 20 riyal pizzas, Qubs, Shawarmas, Broasteds, Kabsas and Mandi, that became the taste of our tongues, warming our plates, filling our stomachs. Everywhere you look, you can see people who has embraced the land odf deserts, put their faith into the blessed land of the two Great Mosques, to fill their stomachs and save their families back in their homeland.

 

The Riyadh that I knew and lived in was never the glamorous one filled with malls and brands and posh lifestyles. It was the Riyadh of the parched hearts, struggling to stand on their two feet to support their families, home for kids like us, whose parents hated the dryness and lack of the greenness, that they so closely held dear. For them, this was a place of livelihood because of no other choice, and for us, home. That shaped us to what we are, that consists of little bits and pieces of our being and memories.

That was the Riyadh, where the yellow uniformed street cleaners were underpaid, the cleaners of the two Great Mosques considered blessed, where you see expats, working their life away.

That was the Riyadh, which was hell, for the thieves who were punished severely, people beheaded publicly due to which crimes were less, for people who were wrongly jailed and punished with no money to pay the government to free them, no people to fend for in a foreign country, no love to be showered, treated like dirt by some Saudi, years and youth wasted away, bearing the harshness of the sun, toiling.

Like any other city, it is filled with secrets and pretenses. Secrets, of expats, royals and the common men. So deeply concealed.

It’s a land of tears, of lives lost in the face of fate, souls shattered in the name of livelihood.

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That’s the purity of it, this multi-facetedness, this mix of people, culture withing the strong realm of the traditional culture and I am sure, you will see this in every major cities in the Middle East. Even beyond the glittering city of Dubai. This might have been the face and soul of Dubai once, before another face of glamour came into the forefront as its tag. And I wonder  ,  10 years down the lane, if Riyadh would be the same place that I lived in. That I grew up in. Will it lose its purity, its real face?

Only time will tell.

A Jar full of Surprises

Courtesy : Google
Courtesy : Google

Have you ever felt that superbly awesome feeling of contentment that engulfs your heart when you see them smile because you told them, they were special?

Its wonderful. Wonderful. Just content and wonderful.

It brings along a peace. A happiness. You feel like you have conquered everything just because they feel happy. Just because you are the reason behind their smile. Its a sight for the sore eyes. A sight that would leave impressions in your being. And a sight that would never fade away, because they have turned into beautiful memories.

Who doesnt love surprises? Especially those which make you immensely happy. That feeling when you see something that you never expected, from someone you love. It makes you feel special. Makes you feel loved. Makes you feel like you are on cloud nine. Drifting away to a land of happiness.

I love giving surprises. Those are the only ways I can let people know how much they mean to me. I love it when I make people smile. I love it when they look at me with those eyes, which tells you how much happy you have made them. The love, the cheerfulness and the happiness. All the more, the smile. That pure and unadulterated one. Those are the moments to be cherished. But when people chucks away your surprises as if it doesnt matter or they dont have enough time to unwrap the mystery box that you gave them, it crushes your heart. When they look at you, with those twinkling eyes, with the gratitude thats there for the sake of manners and those you-didnt-have-to-do-it look, that helps you realize how much mistaken you were. To shower them with your love. How much mistaken you were, to consider them special, because it doesnt matter to them. Indeed, eyes are the windows to the soul!

Take out some time, and surprise your loved ones. You will never know who happy you will feel and how loved they will feel, until you do so.

But right now, when I sit down, relishing the lone time when the world is asleep, listening to my breaths, I realize how much I miss an important element in my life. And what would that element be? The element of Surprise. I miss being surprised. I miss feeling special and for that matter, I wonder if I have ever felt special. I wonder if I have ever been special to anyone. I wonder if there is someone out there who wants to make me feel special.

I wish.

I wish, that there was someone out there to make me feel special. To give me surprises. Surprises that make me happy. So that I can smile at that. I can endow them that smile with twinkling eyes, which says it all.

I wish.