February 26, 2012

Gulf Diaries-Part 1

Many of us live inside a well protected cocoon. We live a mechanical life, making sure the shell around us doesn’t break off and we adapt ourselves to the habitat in the best possible manner. But many a times I feel variety is the essence of life. We meet a lot of new faces in the path of life,we interact ,we learn and we move with them making us feel they are indeed those characters meant to come and act and make our story the most interesting one.
When I came to Abu Dhabi the only arabic I could talk was 'Aslam alaykum' but now I realise if I couldnt speak Malayalam I would have been in trouble
Abu Dhabi has been a lucky place for me so far. I have made some beautiful decisions and luck did favor me. Career wise I might not have improved or learnt much in the span of 2 years, But I should say I did surpass the learning curve quiet well with need of the hour.
More than anything I am happy I spent few years in the ‘Gulf’ which has taught me a lot about the culture of both the residents and expats here. It was indeed an experience to live alone and still make yourself feel that you are just one among thousands of people staying alone earning a living. Minting money is what people associate the Gulf NRIs. Unlike the NRIs settled in North America and Europe you find that an ordinary person without much education is building a palace in his hometown. Many of the Indian expats here believe that their sole purpose in life is building a colossal bungalow back in their hometown. You see almost all the money exchanges are crowded almost any time of the month. I wonder is it just because the banks here don’t offer an interest rate or is it because people here indeed have surplus money to send home?
People here are like a group of people who happen to jump out of the time machine running in their home and happen to join the time machine only at their so called and much precious Annual vacations. Those with families here nurture their children with all that they can and pamper then with all the electronic gadgets and give them the international education thinking they would stand out in the crowd. But it is quiet disheartening to see that children here are brought up feeding in the junk and is spoilt to an extend that they are not even self sufficient. Most parents here I have seen even drop their children to their schools, tuition classes and other extracurricular classes when those are places which the boy/girl can just walk in 10 min. Today they have cell phones and what not for communication, but 20 years back when nothing was there, I used to walk to my school which was almost 2km from my home. I want to believe things are still the same in India. We used to go to shops to get things for our mothers, used to do little bit of household stuff, used to wash cars. But surprisingly I don’t see the kids here do anything at all.By merely taking them to music classes and karate classes are we doing justice to their growth.?Should we blame the technology, parents or this generation? Or is the fact that the world is not safe anymore to leave 10 year old boy/girl at home alone. Taking them to public speaking classes wont do much when they have to learn social interactions sparing their play station games.
Unlike other countries, I feel that the women especially Indians don’t prefer to work here. Many doctors, engineers and other professionals are merely being home makers. I find it very hard to accept that after working hard and spending some good years in professional course many ladies are merely concentrating on teaching their kids and doing projects and homework on their behalf.When it is exam time it is the moms who are worried and tensed, not the kids. The projects are done by the mothers and they compete with other moms. It seems event the schools know that these projects are done by parents. I am not debating on the decision for ladies to stay back and look after their kids, but I wonder at the end of the day, do we really feel satisfied doing the household?

To be Continued