Category: How it started?


Remembering back the times of the voyage by sea to Dubai, most of the journey was in rough seas. Though luckily the voyage was not a very long one like a month on board a steady cruise ship, this was more like a sail boat which easily swayed to the slight push of a breeze. As I PRESS my mind, I am getting flashes of short bursts of rough seas through the small round windows in the ships hull, probably during the night, lying in our separate bunks, watching the moonlit waters splashing on the window.

As I was too young to be bothered with the reasoning of the travels through the sea, I do remember enjoying the voyage just as much as I would have enjoyed an evening with friends out. The time on the deck was spent running around from side to side, with other kids on the ship enjoying the cool breeze together with the tender rocking of the ship.

Every moment of the journey should be noted and written in print, so that the time can forever be preserved in history. But, ALAS! no such luck as the majority of the people on that vessel with me during the journey, that I knew were family, and all of them have passed away to eternal abode, in the recent years.

As I write this journal, the one person closest to me on the journey, MY MOTHER, comes to my mind and reminds me of her love and caring during the trip and for as long as she lived thereafter. She was the person, who would tell us about the things on the boat and the various hapennings, as we were too young to remember the actual facts.

From my memory, and through her help as a constant reminder, I dare to write a few words every now and then

Her memories bring tears to my eyes and force me to end another chapter with a sigh

Till later

 

I would like to share some of my thoughts on the leaders (past and present) of a young nation i.e. United Arab Emirates. It must have started with the British rulers of the earlier colony, naming a president and the ruler of the country. The UAE, consisting of 7 smaller emirates or cities if you may will, to unite as a single bigger nation. Under the supervision and probably security of the British colony, the country was formed with Abu Dhabi (capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al Quwain, The leadership of Sheikh Zayed al Nayhan, president of UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, was highly commendable as the major income from oil was generated in the capital but well-distributed among the rest of the emirates, excluding Dubai. Sheikh Rashid al Maktoum, vice president of UAE and ruler of Dubai, has the to be named as the force behind the development within Dubai and UAE as a whole.

Here I would also like to share some pictures as published recently in the local newspaper, gulfnews.

The pictures really do highlight some of the nation’s stepping-stones during the growth and explosion of the expat population into the country.

Many will agree that the real building blocks of the country lie within the expat community who have been serving their lives here for their own personal developments first and also the development of the nation. The rulers must have seen the potential within the expat community which were helping to bring a relatively higher population growth, for the future of the country. They created rules and regulations for the influx of the expats, coming in first from the UK and later from the sub-continent.

I do remember my parents telling me stories of the ease with which visas were obtained for the family to arrive and the little checks that were carried out at the point of entry. And soon we were seeing hordes of families from India and Pakistan residing in the many blocks built for expat workers to stay.

Do see the pictures

Till later…..

From the memory, I can remember small round windows, from the bunkers where we slept, watching the world pass by and the blue water take over the view. Soon everything around was the blue sea, nothing but water, as far as the eye could see. The rocking of the ship must have made us all sleep, because apart from this my memory serves me nothing more.

I have been told many times that the people with us had very serious troubles, a few of them became very sick during the journey. And a few could not sleep the whole night, but I must have slept like a horse. Contrary to the notion that a cruise might cost more than a flight, during those days, a travel by ship was considered a poor man’s mode of transport, when the airlines had just started commercial flights from Karachi to Dubai, the trip for all of us, counting 2 brothers, mummy, 2 grandparents, 5 in all traveled for the same fee as would have cost for a single person to fly to Dubai, not to mention all the luggage that was allowed at NO EXTRA CHARGE.

Considering today’s restrictions on commercial flights , with strict emphasis on the size and weight of the cargo, and stricter security meaning lesser things allowed to be carried, and the packaging has to be followed with strict guidelines. The more I think about the way travel by flights has eased, the more I worry about the restrictions that have been placed on us. It will not be long before each  person on the flight will have to measure to strict sizes and weight, barring many to opt out of flying or join a strict diet and fitness program.

On the other hand, tall people like me might not be allowed to travel at all in the economy class, surcharging me with business class or even first class. Wondering how competition was considered a blessing for the travelers as new airlines took to the skies?????

On the general note, travel during the later years became more frequent and the loud roar of the jets on take off seemed like an old car rearing to go. The landings eased gradually too and flight grief turned to pleasure as the attendants looked smarter and served us better. Along with the growth, the airports became bigger and better, the aircrafts grew the same way too, so did the services and the crew. The flights were now better served with meals, drinks, newspapers and magazines, toys for the young ones and so on. As times passed more attention was given to in-flight entertainment and communications, and now is common to have a dedicated screen for each passenger,with a net connection, complete with a headset for those skype chats.

Contradicting myself, reminds me of the cruise (cargo) ship that we traveled in from Karachi to Dubai. Ample legroom, Ample seating, Ample luggage allowance, and ample fresh air were not a luxury, it was deemed the poor man’s travel. There were even sleepers for each of us, tho we had to climb to our bunks for sleep. The gentle breeze of the summer, the sunny and clear skies, the warm and humid nights, the thought of spending a day away from the daily hustle and bustle of the city life, would be a true luxury for those of us who have been living on a daily routine of adrenaline shots to meet deadlines, targets, meetings, facebook updates, blogs and so on.

Now I better move on with my own life, or I might hear loud noises around me

Till later

Hungry for travel

The journey from Karachi to Dubai…….

Believe it or not, the actual flight time from city to city is only 1 hour and 45 minutes BUT it took us the whole of 1 night and 2 days to reach our destination. Puzzled????

Keep reading……

As mentioned previously, the HUMBLE BEGINNINGS were truly so. The trip was arranged for the whole family to travel with ample luggage and household belongings (clothes, furniture, mattresses,  kitchenware) by a SHIP (not the cruise ships of today, but the cargo ships of yesteryear with cabins for some passengers. Not only did we carry all our necessities for the journey, but prepared some extra for the days ahead after landing at the SEA PORT (just in case)

I am not writing from the memory that I hold, which is almost non-existent, but is a compilation from the excerpts that I had heard from my elders, specially my mum, Siddiqa. She might not be with us  now but she will always remain in our hearts and n our memories, through her teachings and her welcoming attitude.

Unfortunately, I will have to write again later as the thought of my mother has set my emotions with sorrow. Tears in my eyes bring this post to an abrupt end. Do excuse me, till later.

 

Humble Beginnings

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Starting with the name of Allah to provide me with the courage and sustenance on writing this message to my fellow compatriots. I had my humble beginnings in the small town of West Garden in the bustling city of Karachi, Where I was born on the 9th of May, 1972. My parents Najmul Hassan and Siddiqa, moved to Garden after their marriage and stayed there 2 years before daddy found a job in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. My sibling and the second son in the family, Mehdi Reza aka Afzal was born on the 12th of May, 1973, just before daddy migrated to Dubai. It was not a complete year until daddy arranged for the family to move to Dubai.

This is how it all started MY LIFE IN SUNNY DUBAI……………..

Keep reading and do post your comments

Hasnain Bhojani 

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