Taking a long walk by the Al Seef Creek, I sit down by the water to take a breather before I resume my walk again.
As the area was fenced by concrete, rough, thick ropes, and dim yellow lights, I sit at a small distance away from the water. The low fences were put as a precautionary measure as swimming in those waters is illegal in Dubai.
The water has soft ripples and reflects the various contrasting and shimmering colours that belong to the lights from the other side of the creek. The only time the water got disturbed was when the Abrah’s (small Dubai boats that ferry common people) flocked to and fro. To make the water look even prettier, the boats are also rimmed with colourful strip lights complimenting a clear dark sky, thus contributing to a beautiful painted scenery.
On the other side of the water body, is a smaller skyline of older Dubai when the buildings were smaller, and the markets were common. That skyline is visible due to the screaming lights and the bustling crowd in a market selling electronics, home appliances and clothing at much cheaper rates. It made me imagine the atmosphere of that area if I was there. Compared to that, the place where I am sitting seems like a boon.
With barely any people around, just one or two of them strolling around and three dusty earthen pots for company, I am sitting and observing everything around me. After all, the scene didn’t only consist of what was just on the other side.
Everything is silent, as if the place I am in had been abandoned. Only the light sound of the waves that crashed against the stone and granite, accompanied by an occasional dull roar of the boats passing by, could be heard. Even the wind is silent as the dull heat invades the surroundings, begging to be noticed, increasing the perspiration I am feeling.
The silence felt quite eerie more than calming, so I start listening to music. I have a ready playlist on my phone. Connecting it to my wireless earphones, I begin listening to some upbeat J-pop music – belonging to a completely different language, one that I did not understand. However, as the famous author, Hans Christian Anderson had said “Where words fail, music speaks.”
I continue to bop to the music, I begin to see on the other sides of me, not just what was in the front. On my right, is a path from where I have just come. A path that looks traditional yet so magical as the building appears old and from the history of Dubai, with its cracked and rough, cream granite walls. The path from where I came, has this wall on one side and a clothing shop on the other. The top has a covering that is tightly stretched cloth and dim fairy lights dangling from above as if it were a light shower. The sight itself is so beautiful that it is a pity that not a lot of people come here to take selfies.
The clothing stores are colourful in their own way, having a variety of clothing for girls, in colour, sizes, patterns and styles of all kinds. Skirts, pants, dresses, gowns, and scarves too; all at a marked down price. But the shops still didn’t seem to have any customers. Just a shopkeeper who came out to clean his wares.
It isn’t like there are a few lonely shops. The whole creek is a traditional Dubai market that sells clothing, spices, and food. Speaking of which, on the other side, there is a lantern shop filled with colourful glass lanterns. A completely new enigma to admire as the light seemed to hit different at every angle, just like a kaleidoscope.
Even this shop seems to have shared the fate of the clothing stores, having no customers but the shopkeeper adjusting his products around. One thing caught my attention and that is the security guard who is taking his rounds. He walks around me quite a few times, checking on what I am doing and making sure I wasn’t too close to the water or doing anything that wasn’t allowed. His eyes make me quite anxious and I realise it is time for me to leave the spot.
With this small break and a quick breath of fresh air, I get up and resume my walk. It was a refreshing experience that taught me that sometimes taking it slow and just living in the moment is worth the happiness than just speeding by. Such speed breakers are often required to enjoy life as it is.
Contributor: Sanaya Parkar
About our Writing Program Student
Why fit in when we were born to stand out and do greater things? A passionate writer for whose words come naturally as ants to sweet jaggery along with design running in the veins. An avid reader, researcher as well as a learner whose dream is to change the world with each step.