My life…my reality

April 16, 2010

By: Shazia Yousuf

I happened to visit Dubai last December – January. Seemed like a blessing, a long deserved break from work and the monotonous routine; indeed an oasis in the desert!

The shimmer and glitter of Dubai itself makes you forget for some time all the troubles, you leave behind your entire burden and soon get acclimatized with the air that is filled with glamour.

Driving on the seven lane wide roads, speeding at a regular 70 miles per hour, or mall walking, dazed by the luster and gleam, one slowly and gradually starts becoming a part of it. It numbs you, it encompasses you!

Initially everything appears to be expensive because you actually convert dirham to rupees whenever you try to buy something from attractive places like Life Style or Home Center. However, if your stay exceeds a week or so, you actually start believing the fact that 35 Dhs is is not that expensive for a simple shirt after all.

Dubai has consumed you!

And then you start longing for a life, where weekends are spent barbecuing at the beach, or mornings on Fridays starting off with a luxurious brunch at the Barbeque Delight at the Jumeirah Beach Residency, right at the sea shore which is not too expensive or unaffordable, of course according to the Dubai standards. A life where off and on you treat yourself with a latest blockbuster from either Hollywood or Bollywood, or an amazing live performance by Sonu Nigam, Jagjeet Singh or Rihanna. You gradually start forgetting the miseries of load shedding, water and sewerage or for that matter the life stagnation after rains. The towering masterpiece of Burj Khalifa, and the Burj Al Arab make you so numb especially if you spend the new year’s eve watching the extremely glamourous fireworks, they slowly make you start feeling at home and you feel like a part of the glorious glittering Dubai.

Anyways, my trip being a short one, all this glitter and shimmer had to be said farewell to and the journey back home had to be made soon.

Once at home, everything seems to give pain. The focus on life is not on quality. We are just leading our lives, flowing with the currents of mismanagement and disloyalties in each and every sector and organization. For a few days after coming home nothing seemed good. The roads, the litter and filth of pan, the frowning faces of the people on the streets, all were so depressing. I felt like going back.

But come to think of it, this is life! This is the reality that I have come back to. In fact, that life is so artificial – living for oneself. Here I am reminded time and again; my life has a purpose – serving the poor destitute souls…

Here back home, when I see those lined up outside Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s Mazar, waiting for the langar (free food) to be distributed, or those tiny hands begging for the Mc Donald’s take away that I couldn’t finish I feel my life has a purpose. Some say those beggars are lazy and they don’t want to work. But still.

I have opportunities here, to see God, to feel God, to strive in the way of God…

It is us who have to do something maybe not for the country, but for the poor deprived souls living in my country, who have no way to lift the standard of living in such a period of high cost of living. It is us who have to help those deprived souls. Some say, we cannot do anything while living in this country which itself is in such a mess. But so many institutions like TCF, Edhi Welfare Trust, Zindagi trust, Sasta Tandoor, Al Mustafa Welfare Trust, Alamgir Welfare Trust and so many more organizations are doing so much for the well being of humanity. We can also be a part of it.

Running away is not the solution. Living with real people, seeing and feeling their pain and then doing something for them is what is required of us. I feel going away, ignoring the problem that we are faced with is like running away from an old ailing parent.

The real attitude should be to be a part of it and take up the responsibility. It does not mean joining an NGO or doing anything big. Small efforts can also make a difference. Just by taking up the responsibility of the families associated with those who work for you, you can start improving conditions of families other than yours. Those 2.5 percent of the annual income if spent wisely can really do wonders! Starting with those closely associated with you and then gradually expanding your responsibility circle. Taking up this challenge, becoming the force of change is the essence of existence.

I have come to terms with the fact that those bumpy dug up roads are a part of my home, frowning faces are the souls I can relate to…this is what I am, this is my life – my reality.



  1. Very well written.
    Waiting for some more posts.

  2. absolutely!

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