A larger than life and farther than it seems banner says ‘history rising’. One day is not enough for a new person to find his destination in a maze of roadways. Public transport is as efficient as it is in Hyderabad. The only visible differences being vacuum doors, absence of conductors and the ‘ticket generating machine’ beside the driver. The invisible one being the air condition. People crowd around the bus doors when the bus arrives but there is no body contact. They complain about the government while waiting for the bus in foreign English accents, which will take an Indian a good while to classify it as a ‘crib’. The taxi drivers will possess costlier cell phones than the passengers they carry. But, thankfully, passengers will wear better scents!
Foreigners outnumber the locals. And everyone of them is proud of his/her ability to speak the local language. The landscapes from city to city presents no variation, like the garbs which cover its inhabitants and their ‘air’. This fact perhaps justifies the emergence of grandiose ideas and their subsequent realization into reality. The construction industry believes in the new adidas motto…’impossible is nothing’. Architects and engineers are engaged in an eternal battle for ‘space’. The final product satisfies neither, but the client is all praise. There are some of the very best examples of architecture and some of the worst. Very few can be accredited as innovative or creative…most irrational. But the whole construction activity really makes one see it as ‘history in the making’. A history in which sparrows don’t vanish from the cities!
A single day’s newspaper will be equal in material and content to five days of paper in Hyderabad. And cost more than five times. There will be news of new project announcements with their budgets (always in millions) and estimated time of completion, along with news of a shopping mall which drowned when it rained. So it doesn’t happen only in India after all!
Speaking of malls, it is a nightmare. Literally. There is a hundred times more choice than you need. People like me end up never buying anything at all.
Life somehow gets into a routine. No adventure presents itself, but you can find one if you look for it. One of the best parts of living here is that you have to part with very few currency notes and coins for simple jobs. Worst part is that you receive not many of them (thought those few can get you a lot) at the first of every month!
That’s Dubai for you. And if you wanna know what Doha is like, wait till the end of June.
Nadia pahadh jheel aur jharne jungle aur wadi…dil mein hai kiske ishaare!
Written while in Dubai for Practical Training for sappenings groups