Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Day of 2009

It's the end of year again. A time when people usually take stock of the last year, make plans and resolutions about the new year and create top ten or top five or top whatever list of the best and the worst. There is something about the last day of the year which makes us all suddenly conscious of all that has been done or should have been done, and then we suddenly resolve to attain it next year. It's not as if suddenly you are going to be a better, more organized person, but there is something about the last day, isn't it?

It seems that when we were younger, time used to pass more slowly. Now it flies! Though perhaps the passage of time hasn't changed at all, and only our perception of it has changed. Perhaps now we have more activities that fill our time, and hence we always complain about not having enough time to do this, that or the other.

I too had meant to make resolutions for the new year, not necessarily because I mean to adhere to them, but because one is supposed to do that. And they are supposed to help you in becoming a better person. Also, sticking with the 'tradition', I too had meant to compile many lists. Best things that happened to me in 2009, worst points of 2009, a list of places I had been to, another of places I mean to go to in the coming year; a list of best events that I had attended in this year, and those that I had missed and what not. You know such trivialities that we are used to associate with this time of year.

However, I will no longer be able to do any of that. I heard about the death of a very, very young family friend. She passed away last night in a tragic road accident, sadly a very common way of dying in the UAE. Her sister was driving the car, wonder how much harder it will be for her to live with the memory, though it's no fault of her. I haven't even met them in a long time, and when my sister told me about her death, I had to rummage in my memory for a few secs to remember which one of the ten sisters, and then suddenly her lovely face flashed in my mind. And also a dim memory of an affectionate letter she wrote to me a few years ago. Somehow the fact that she was merely 17 odd years old makes it even more shocking and sad. Such is life!

May her soul rest in peace. Ameen.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Colour Divide

Recently I have had to go to a lot of baby/kids store, to buy something or other for the babies/kids in the family, of whom there seems to be an infinite variety masha Allah. Anyway, what I noticed, though I was already aware of it was the 'color divide'. How everything for the boys had to be in blue, and every single thing for the girls was in pink. Not only that, it was hard to find anything in any other colours. Some stores were even more particular and had two separate sections for girls and boys.

It really makes no sense to me. Would it be horrendous if a baby boy is caught wearing a pink dress? Or is riding a pink bike, or playing with a pink toy? Wouldn't baby girls look equally sweet in blue? Not only that, how come they cannot think of using any other colours from such a wide colour spectrum. For boys, they would occasionally veer to shades of green, brown and orange, while girls have a choice of purple,magenta and hot pink. Yellow appeared to be the only neutral colour!

This colour divide is do deeply ingrained in our minds that while buying blankets for my nephew I couldn't bring myself to choose a pink one, though it was much nicer,softer and cuddly.

I personally felt that it was a bit unfortunate: the idea of gender divide based on colours. Yet another divide in a world which is already compartmentalized based on religions, ethnicity, nationalities, languages, skin colours, castes and every other possible grouping (even sexual orientation!), at least the poor baby/kids' zone should have been left alone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rain, rain come again

I remember the nursery rhyme "rain, rain go away....little Johnny wants to play", and while I understand and totally respect little Johnny's views, I cannot help but chant rain, rain come again!

Last weekend it rained in the UAE. It lasted for only 2 days, but on those two days the temperature went down a few degrees and it was nicely cool and pleasant. But by the time the ever optimistic me excitedly got out my sweaters and shawls and aired them, the 'rains' were already over. It's quite heartbreaking, considering the fact that the ever lethargic me went to considerable pains to lug out the suitcase, repacking it again, taking out 'warm things' (as if we would need them much here), rearranging my wardrobe and what not. All for two days of rain and cool weather? To say that I feel cheated is to put it very mildly, because I feel much more strongly about that.

Well, at least I got to wear my new coat, which I bought just because I got a good bargain on that one. I am so falling into the trap of buying things impulsively, just to indulge a momentary whim and for a transient sense of uplifted mood.

Please dear rain, come again so I can get my money's worth off that new coat and feel less guilty:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Communication 'Block'

I have become a bad communicator. I don't always reply to emails/text messages. Cannot remember the last time I wrote a letter. Normally I don't call people that frequently, and occasionally I don't pick up my phone or return calls.

There was a time when I would not only remember every one's birthday, but would actually go to the trouble of going to the bookstore and buy nice greeting cards, be patient enough to write personal messages on each one of them, and pester my brothers to post them well before time. Don't know how and when it stopped. One day, I switched to e-greetings. Finding electronic cards wasn't easy either. I had to browse various categories on at least half a dozen sites before I could decide on a card. Then I would make sure it reached on the precise day. And would actually call everyone on their birthdays, on Eids, on special occasions and what not.

But I have stopped doing all of that. It's not that I forget birthdays, or I forget that I haven't replied to an email, or to text someone, or that I have to return a call. I miss people a lot, think of them often and still I refuse to pick up the phone and dial their number; to take paper and pen and write a letter, or even hit the reply button and send an email.

It's not that I don't have anything to say any longer, on the contrary my head is teeming with so many thoughts and ideas. But something has gone wrong with me. I don't want to do any of that any more. Funnily enough, I check my emails religiously. I save my letters and text messages and re-read them frequently.

What has gone wrong with me!!

P.S. I had unofficially abandoned my blog, but I think it's time to return. Time to shed the 'garb of silence' and start 'chirping' once again.