A long walk along the Bur Dubai Creek from the new Al Seef Waterfront, glitzy like Al Mouj in Muscat to the old part of the creek, via the Al Seef Heritage Village which is a very family friendly place with a whole host of restaurants and shopping options including a Singaporean restaurant called Kim’s. The space reminded me of Makansutra in Singapore with its emphasis on heritage within the global marketplace. The cultural element was quite a highlight with the kahwa and the dates.
The other end of the creek was the historic Bur Dubai Spice Market, and the Creek Abra, or Water Taxi Station with the bustle of Meena Bazaar. The Bank of Baroda Building really stood out. I remembered Rahul Dravid being the brand ambassador of the bank once upon a time with the tagline- India’s International Bank. With the Chanda Kochchar Scandal, those were innocent times.
The constant hustling of the sales folk, were a reminder of fashion street, Bandra in Bombay. The place also was reminiscent of Mutrah Souk in Muscat. Places converge in the consciousness as idioms overlap, reminding us of our need for a shared future.
The traditional focus point of Commerce, the creek is a sliding scale from traditional Modernity to Global Modernity in a span of 6 kilometres return. The hustle at one end to the calm realm at the newly done waterfront is a unique spatiotemporal compression, where the global now meets the global past.
@ Al Seef Dubai
Life is a concert of contradictions
A Symphony of Strategies
Encountered at each bend
And my heart is a repository of diminished dreams,
but new ones flower,
new hope arises,
only to be flattened at the next bend
Happy Republic Day India! We celebrate the audacity the vision of an inclusive constitution in 1950, a people’s constitution in the words of Rohit De. From Porbandar to Itanagar, we are Indian- the strength of the nation is its fragmented, yet thoroughly inclusive character. We are many, yet one when we vote in 2019. Jai Hind, BMKJ!
Got chatting with a barista at Starbucks from Thimphu who studied English at Fergusson College Pune, who was very articulate, and nostalgic about Juhu Beach. From Thimphu to Pune to Dubai, The Land of Gross National Happiness is having a low but rising representation in the diversity in the Khaleej.
Pema Eden was a great barista in Muscat from Thimphu.
I belong nowhere
The paycheck is the destination
Hence I belong everywhere
The belonging is to an imagination
The physical destination, is however a luxury
Few can belong to
Ten years back (no photos here), I was working at a consulting firm for projects in South Sudan in Oman, and moved in to NUS, Singapore for my terrific masters, an idealist who wanted to make the tiny red dot home to now after 4 countries, two masters and a few gigs later, a man who is just revved up for life more than ever.
I am blessed to have been on international media numerous times, written articles and papers to been rejected by PhD programs for grades to being not wanted by organisations for whom I had given my everything. It’s been a good decade, richer by experiences although with little money left in my account. A house library in Mumbai and a repository of writings is all I have to show for.
Had a fascinating evening chatting up with a bewildering cast of characters in Bur Dubai from a Moradabadi Barber who landed up in a salon via his time in Trissur, Kerala. He was talking about the entire economics of survival in Dubai. Years of maturity than his 9 grade education and his young demeanour.
I met a cabbie from Cameroon who graduated from a cleaning professional to a cabbie in 5 years. He spoke about his 12 hour journey from Cameroon to Dubai and ultimately as a cabbie. He is French speaking but picked up English in Dubai.