Digital Marketing, Life

Doubt #Day 27

The serrated landscape of Dubai become an array of visual splendor at night. Bright yellow dots neatly arranged in rhythmical lines, appear as a mammoth inescapable labyrinth when the flight descends to one of the busiest airports in the world. What is find so fascinating about Dubai is the strangeness of life. It delivers surprise in every inch. Paranoia about the infrastructure and architectural perfection is evident in every tower built in the middle of this spectacular desert city. These buildings are massive, sometime gazing many hundreds of feet above your head, looking down upon your minuscule existence. As a runner, I have seen yet a different Dubai. When a runner cuts through the streets and covers the serpentine alleys, Dubai reveals a new face, a discovery akin to diver hunting for treasure at sea. Unexplored spacial scenarios appear, while you try to cope with the exasperated existence in a hot and humid environment. I met Vijay during one of these runs while preparing for Dubai Marathon in 2016.

Vijay is from Hyderabad and has been living in Dubai since 2005; 13 years of stay in Dubai will make him a veteran. He is also one of the most unassuming person that I have met and my reasoning would concur with most of others. Always ready to offer help in every possible way. When we were away with my father-in-law and my niece alone for few days, I had given them Vijay’s number in case of any help needed. Vijay used to be very fat, he shows me a few old unrecognizable pictures in support and also used to smoke profusely. He is now a reformed man, a runner and a very fine one. When I met Vijay for the first time, he was to run his first marathon in Dubai in 2016. A day before the marathon, he had fever and still ran the full distance (42.2 kms), medicines keeping his temperature in control. Since then, he has never looked back and has excelled in each new marathon and bettered his timing. What differentiates Vijay is his will and determination. He is doubt-less. His soft interior hides this side of him.

It was one of the usual Friday mornings, during one of our runs that I got an invaluable gift. We were on our way to the Club runs and we were late. The banters of the weekend Thursdays in Dubai had got better of us. I was driving, and had recently got my driving license. As a new driver in a foreign land, I built a rule that I couldn’t compromise with. When the green traffic light blinks, I had to stop. To the wrath of many around me, I follow this rule religiously. In Dubai, you should pray that I’m not ahead of you because even in the most urgent of situations, I would not go further, while you go on honking behind me. I’m shamelessly proud of my callous honest adherence. However this specific morning, my rule was to be put to a test. Vijay & I were late for our Dubai Creek Striders Club run. In the wee hours of the morning, if we didn’t reach the meeting point on time and we would be left to wonder where did the pack go. Thankfully, Vijay and I kept ourselves busy debating the choice of final destination and therefore the thoughts didn’t reach unwarranted conclusions. We were 3 minutes away from the start, and therefore I increase the speed of my Ford Explorer, the vehicle grunts and picks up the throttle and at the same time I can see the approaching green light. We are at a confusing distance; my mental calculation says that because it has been green for sometime now, it would start blinking any minute. As I come closer to the traffic signal, it does happen. The green light starts blinking, though I’m still away, I don’t stop. But this time, the ghost of the green light doesn’t bother me, I keep going on, crossing it in the nick of time.

In normal day and sane circumstance, I would have stopped. That was truly my first reaction. But I jammed on the accelerator. This was first exception of my holy rule to stop. Why? Vijay told something to me that made a lot of sense. Not just in this one instance, but I would refer to it in many more such scenarios. The words became like a flash card which I would use again and again.

When the lights were blinking and Vijay saw my confusion, he said, “If you doubt, you are done.”

Precisely, in the moment of crucial importance, the doubt impedes judgement, reasoning and could be greatest folly that you can commit. It doesn’t let you act and negates movement. Doubt is an ill that ails the will and determination. In most defining moments, I would reflect these words and the instance. Never to be at the cross roads on indecision and doubt. Else you are doomed to be in the limbo perpetually. Truth disguised as plain sight and beckons you unannounced.

We did try hard, but the pack had left the moment we arrived. Fortunately, we could catch them and the efforts didn’t go in vain. As the delicate atmospheric effect of sunlight permeated the early hours of the day, Dubai reveled in yet another glorious day. Wisdom illuminated like the bright sunlight for me, while my exhausted self was screaming inside to stop. Vijay went on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Life, Transformation

Proof #Day 16

100% (1)

I was humming the opening of Bob Dylan’s song today, on the pavement. I was on my way to Spinney’s, which is in my neighborhood.

How many roads must a man walk down,
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail,
Before she sleeps in the sand?

Yes, and how many times must a cannonballs fly,
Before they are forever banned?

As I walked on the paved, with my hum, I noticed a group of teenagers. Slight distraction to boast about my abilities, people around me would be glad that I was humming because last time when I sang, that day, I was banned from future social gatherings. There was nothing special about today’s Thursday, it was a usual buzz in flashy Dubai downtown district, where Burj Khalifa outshines everything around. Every time, I look at it, I’m reminded of tall human ambition. Most glorious sight on earth. It wasn’t the first time that I saw the teenagers, they would be there every Thursday, with no parents and having the first taste of independence and adolescence. As I watch them, I couldn’t fail to notice the latest fashion or gadget, and at the same time I would get a feeling that I’m definitely born in a wrong generation. Boys and girls had his/her own individual hairdo, music and banter. They were having fun.

The most usual about them, a burning white stick between their fingers; the one that is lit is passed across the group. They wouldn’t be more than 14-15 years old and seem to be enjoying the moment. I could see something big going up in smoke.

It was for the first time that I could witness to a deep apathy within me and my inability to reverse any of these happening. I couldn’t go up to them and tell them not to smoke and like every other day, I let it pass. How does it concern me? I’m stranger in a strange land. I realized, I wouldn’t feel for them unless I would see in that group, anyone I knew.

How much proof is needed for us to start acting?

The cigarette packet has a vivid, horrid looking image on the pack, and says “Smoking is injurious to health.” CDC (center for disease control and prevention) quotes following statistics…

  1. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths.
  2. Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:
    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • Illegal drug use
    • Alcohol use
    • Motor vehicle injuries
    • Firearm-related incidents
  3. More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States.
  4. Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
  5. Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.
  6. The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S.

However, someone, in the shopping counter selling cigarettes wouldn’t have these statistics handy. Or would be short on his/her sales target. Or would have put the best foot forward to service the customer. My rational thought fails, probably I’m trying to put more reasoning in it than required. It only a weekend and kids are having a good time, would you do the same. Better thought prevailed and I walked on. Rationality for an irrational universe. Yet again, I failed to stand up for a cause; if I were to test my agreeable  quotient, I would have score my highest ever. I didn’t want to be embarrassed socially. I better stay silent than speak up.

How much proof is needed for us to start acting?

How any times have we found ourselves to be in such situation, where we feel from within, yet fail to act? Family, work or otherwise. How does it matter, unless it happens to me? How many times our supreme intelligence fails to show up?

As I encounter these absurd thoughts, I hum the last few words of the Bob Dylan’s song. Ironically it says,

The, answer my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.

Layout & Image Courtesy: Canva.com