July 27th, 2017

Rub Raakha te Jee Aayan Nun.

People are interesting. Often people are endearing. Very rarely, people are hurtful. Because of all that people are, and can be at different times, people watching is an interesting pastime. It is primarily this interesting pastime that keeps the blogosphere/blogistan/blogworld going. What is it after all that entices us to go read another person’s blog? (apart from leaving our own URL there of course!) Blog-hopping is a new way of people-watching. We land at a new blog, and find out what another person thinks, does, or does not think or do in his/her life. Virtual people, contrary to what the term suggests, are real people.

Thankfully (and hopefully), the world has not yet got to a point where obscure computer programs have blogs they masquerade as people on. Thankfully again, all we have is still people masquerading as programs, and that too a select minority; what is, after all, a virus/worm/Trojan but a malicious person inflicting himself on people he/she can victimize. While it is easy to assume that people have a virtual persona which they allow to reflect in their blogs, it is worthwhile remembering that such virtual persona is still a part of who they are. Quite often, it is more honest a representation of a person than one he portrays in his everyday real life. Often enough too, a virtual persona is a caricature, or a self-portrait gone horribly wrong. Rarely, a blog persona is a totally different person, far-removed intentionally from the real life person. When we see these virtual people, we might find them interesting, endearing, hurtful or even abhorrent, but our findings are always tainted by doubt, because of the virtuality factor.

People are more interesting in real-life. It struck me when I was at the airport recently waiting for someone. The flight was delayed, and for once I was early. I have always found the arrivals area a far better and more delightful place as compared to the departures area. There is a merry atmosphere about the arrivals lounge which is in stark contrast to the melancholy that pervades the departures area. The UAE’s demographics, much like those of the other GCC states are peculiar in the sense that approximately 70-80% of the total population (if not more) is comprised of expatriates; I do not know what the term expatriate means according to Merriam-Websters, but over here the term defines people who live and work here for years, and if they can afford it, visit home come yearly vacations – for most people taking a vacation and visiting home are synonymous, as ironic as it may seem to some – and this is why one sees less of the melancholy about the departures lounge here in the UAE than does one back home in the sub-continent.

Back home, one of the most common sights in the departures area is the elderly mother crying her eyes out when bidding her saat-samandar-paar bound son farewell, and one of the most constant features of an airport departures area is the sadness and the melancholy as a dear one leaves the country with explicit promises to write and implicit promises to send back the much needed dirhams, riyals, dinars, yens, dollars, pounds or whatever else it is they get paid in.

In the GCC countries, being in the departures lounge often means one is headed home, pockets bulging with money saved over the previous months, or borrowed hastily over the previous couple of weeks, and bags full of gifts for all and sundry – including the siblings, cousins, friends, their in-laws, and the nephews and nieces of the brother-in-law’s sister-in-law. More than that, it means being happy at finally going back home after months and often years of toiling in the petro-economies. Contrary to the general rule, the departures area is less melancholy and more merry.

Perhaps the only sentiment common to the departures areas in the gulf and those back home is envy. The difference of course lies in the factors that drive that envy. Back home the departing son, and by extension his family are viewed with envy because of the ‘opportunity’ they have been blessed with. Over here, friends come to airport to see off a friend send him with love and perhaps a little envy at him for getting a chance to get away from the slave life and get to his nears and dears.

Wasn’t I supposed to tell you about how I indulged in a spot of people watching?

I will. Promise.

17 Responses to 'Rub Raakha te Jee Aayan Nun.'

  1. 1humaira
    February 3rd, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    isn’t it usually explicit promises to send money and implicit promises to write home?


  2. 2knicq
    February 4th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Good point Humaira. Perhaps there is a fair number of either kind. Or perhaps it varies according to the person whom the promise is being made to.

    That is part of the beauty of people watching. You get to see all kinds. Reminds me of Aamir Zaki’s track “Every person is a story”. :)


  3. 3Owl
    February 4th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    :) I would tell you that you’ve lost your train of thought, but I know you’ll come back to it eventually.

    And I was thinking I need to start playing badminton in my courtyard. Because I have one. And rackets. We need to see if this is a sound idea.


  4. 4knicq
    February 5th, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Owlie: You have more faith in me than I do. I think I set out to spot a train of thought here, but I am a Kashmiri, and we don’t have trains in AJK… so there is every possibility one passed me by but I did not recognize it. :)

    Badminton at home! What a splendid idea!! Pardon the exclamation marks – I do get excited easily :) So, how do we find out if this is a sound idea?

    I can always get the net and the shuttlecocks :)


  5. 5Owl
    February 5th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I am QUITE sure I left a comment here. It seems to have disappeared. *squints* Hmmmm….


  6. 6knicq
    February 5th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Owlie, your comment does show here as no.3 – did you leave another?


  7. 7gh
    February 6th, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Those sad faces, crying mothers, envious relatives – mostly these things happen on the first visit abroad – where at least a dozen relatives bid farewell to the lucky guy. And that guy calls from departure lounge to at least a dozen friends (who missed the chance to reach airport,) “Acha yar …”

    Quite natural.


  8. 8knicq
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:05 am

    gh: Quite right.

    Perhaps, things have changed some as the novelty of someone leaving for saat samandar paar has finally worn off. And perhaps as security measures have been tightened at the airports over the past few years, the number of people flocking to the airports has dwindled. I recall incidents when it used to be one person leaving and a bus-load following his ‘wagon’ to the airport, where protracted farewells would get under way.


  9. 9gh
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Moreover it was solely due to strong family ties which are not prevalent these days.


  10. 10adnan.
    February 6th, 2009 at 3:13 am

    i just want to say that i’m nothing in “real life” like i am on the “blog”, or maybe i’m more or less the “same”.

    also, what’s up with this dual blog thing?

    word from to the wise, having two blogs when you barely blog makes you blog less.

    and that is all i wanted to say.


  11. 11knicq
    February 6th, 2009 at 3:41 am

    gh: Quite likely. Or perhaps, family ties are defined differently today, and distances given lesser value. Just thinking aloud. :)

    Adnan: I am increasingly like the blog in real life. Boring, lacking updates, and devoid of direction or purpose.

    The dual blog thing was an attempt to break away from the blogger’s block, but just as you remarked here, it led to me becoming blog less!

    I am trying to find a way to make it work. Perhaps, convert one to a work-blog and the other … well, not so work-blog… but there is little hope. :(


  12. 12adnan.
    February 6th, 2009 at 4:08 am

    i tried that, techish stuff blog, and personalish stuff blog. it doesn’t work, not for someone with my personality/tendencies, and i gather that it won’t work for you either.

    two blogs, two logins, two passwords, two interfaces, it just doesn’t work. but it’s okay, you either learn, or you don’t. =)


  13. 13knicq
    February 7th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Adnan: There goes my last hope. It hasn’t worked for me as is quite obvious from the alarming lack of updates (cumulative), and I have still not figured out whether I have learned or not.

    I have also not figured out which one I feel less obliged to update. :)


  14. 14gh
    February 7th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    You can start a photo blog, or publish photographs here.


  15. 15knicq
    February 7th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    gh: That is certainly an idea. But then I’d have to take photographs, and transfer them to my pc, and then upload them… isn’t that way too much trouble?

    I know a picture is a thousand words, but hey I like words. Its just that they don’t seem to like me :(


  16. 16gh
    February 7th, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    If nothing is appealing than certainly it’s a periodic blogging break.


  17. 17gh
    February 8th, 2009 at 3:40 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0gyV10rL9U

    enjoy!


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