Sunday, February 05, 2012

Day 79, Thursday, 2nd February 2012: Jeddah

Dear Reader, 

By the time you read this, I will have crossed 5000 views of my blog ... an achievement for which I must thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. It has been an exciting and adventurous journey for me, and one from which I am slowly but surely emerging victorious in more ways than one: not only have I performed Umrah twice in just over 2 months, I have received salary for 2 months, I have sent money to my family, I have experimented with cooking on an unbelievable scale, I am feeling healthier on account of a regular walk-jog routine, I have made so many acquaintances from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and the Philippines, I have been birding (although I am not satisfied with the level of birding) and lastly, and importantly, I am adjusting myself to a welcome situation where my short-tempered fast life is changing into a more peaceful one with time for prayer, reflection and rumination.

 In a conversation with my daughter Hannah, I was trying to settle a domestic misunderstanding between her, Inas and their mother (my wife) Nishrin. I asked her to learn to be a little less fretful and more meditative and calm, and told her how I was feeling the change in me occurring because I was in a slow-paced small town. She agreed that I sounded less anxious and more at peace with myself. This change in attribute may be something that lasts with me even when I return to India, or, then again, it might not, but as of now, I am basking in the glory of the change. My advice to you, dear readers, is to reflect upon your life thus far, and to consider slowing down a bit and taking out the time to exercise, pray, meditate and reflect and so on. If you do some of these things religiously (pun intended), you won't need to join a gymnasium or do 1000 push-ups or go on starvation diets. The change will come from within, and it will transform you for ever.

My second morning in Jeddah started off early, because Memuna was to conduct a 5-hour religious class in her house for children. As the class would be held in the hall, I moved my luggage etc to the inside living room. Juzer planned to take me out for a ride by 11 a.m. When he left the house at around 10 a.m., he told me he would come back to pick me up before 11. In the event, some work held him up, so that I informed him that I would go to the seashore near Hotel Hilton alone for the time being - and to be in touch with him thereafter. Thus, I left the house at about 11 a.m., walked to the main road and then hired a cab to take me to the seashore (near Hilton) on Corniche. The drive was fairly long, lasted for about 15 minutes and cost SR 15. 

I arrived at the destination, and then strolled about for a long time before walking up to the observation pier to watch fishermen (and a lone fisher-woman, all dressed in the traditional abaya) doing their thing. One or two of them had really professional fishing rods, and it was a pleasure to watch them bait the hook, twirl their bodies and cast the line and then wait patiently while reeling the line in to catch a fish. One of the gentlemen actually caught a long snout fish (I will search for its name and add it her when I can) which he then threw over the tiles and waited while it died.  I also entertained myself watching some species of sea birds like gulls and so on. I did take pictures and videos with my new phone, but, barring a few, most of the pictures aren't as detailed as I would have liked them to be.  

In between, I had a snack of curled fried potato chips (see photo) along with tea. By 1.20 p.m., I received a call again from Juzer. He had just finished his work, and asked me if I would please come back on my own. It was a SR 15 taxi again, back to where Juzer and his family lived. For lunch we had bottle gourd, some other stuff and so on. I rested for a while after lunch. 

We went for dinner to a restaurant called "The Golden Palace", a Chinese eatery. It was my treat, and we had wontons for starters, soup, a chicken and a lamb dish and finally, noodles to complete the experience. It was a good dinner with generous portions of the foods that were served. 

Returning from there, we retired for the day, and I went to sleep by half past ten or eleven.

1 comment:

MUHBEEN said...

there is peace and "barkat " in saudi soil - the land where there are 2 holy mosques of makkah and madina. there is also the barkat of prayers. u will continue to have peace in life anywhere in the world if u follow the islamic teachings and continue to pray regularly.
i am so happy to see the change in u taher. May Allah bless u and ur family with the best in life