International Writers Magazine: Karama Odyssey
If you drop me
in a junction and ask me to find out the way on my own, I would
naturally take the wrong direction!! It's on my destiny.So, last
evening, I was not much surprised when I started walking to the
road leading to karama centre from sindh panjab restaurant, where
actually the place I was searching for was near karama fish market
which was just 5 minutes walk.
After a nice round
of nearly one hour thru the heart of Karama, passing the garden, car
park, the famous restaurant galli, municipality building and a building
which is a branch of Dubai university (I never knew that Dubai has a
university!!), I came back to the place I started off opposite
sindh panjab restaurant. I was in search of a furniture shop and karama
is famous for its furniture marts.
As I crossed the road and passed the small "bombay chatt wala"
and again took a short-cut over the garden which is inside
the decent housing complex, I found a couple of furniture shops. And
all the furniture shop fellows turned out to be the most sweetest one
I did not have to bargain at all
I made deal for
a cupboard and a medicated mattress.
Now, I am gonna face the real hassle - finding a cab back to home!!
By now, I very well know the situation in Dubai
Moreover, I consider myself as a "born-unlucky one" so I knew,
not a single cab will even stop near me!
I was mentally prepared to walk from Karama to OPC - to my home, though
the very thought of walking all the way after the hectic schedule at
work and one hour driving class was bothering me deep inside!! But then...viola
there's a cab!!And it's empty. I at once jumped on the road from
the shop and stood in the middle of the road waving out with both my
the cabbie slowed down and asked with his stern look "where
do you wanna go"
I was opening the back door while answering him "burdubai"
He said something vague and drove off speeding the vehicle away at full
. I was a bit horrified as I almost escaped from a fal!
they are a bit harsh at times!!
.I dropped the plan of waiting for another mad incident and
started walking swiftly holding my bag close to my body
As I proceeded a few steps ahead I heard a voice.... "Excuse me
When I turned my head tracing the root of that melodious voice, I noticed
the dark glass window of the huge vehicle - porch Cayenne - slightly
and a young slender girl in her abhaya* is smiling at me.
She was sitting in front, on the passenger seat.
In my first glance itself, I noticed the grace in her face and love
in her eyes.
I was still staring at her and wondering whether she called me or someone
"Where do you wanna go?"
I returned her smile and said.."Home-burdubai."
She said "would you mind if I drop you home?"
This time, I literally got a shock. Besides, a slight thought of doubt
too flashed on my mind
why would anyone wanna help someone on the
road? Am I missing something here? Is someone hiding on the back seat
and are they trying to trap me for some unknown reasons?
Looking at my silence, she said
"Don't worry, madam
will drop you
it's very difficult to hail a cab here.."
She quickly got off from the passenger seat and jumped and sat on the
driving seat and started the vehicle. I thoroughly looked inside the
car and made sure that she is alone in it and sat next to her.
She started calling up her hubby who was away placing an order in the
nearby "karachi darbar restaurant".
"It will take time to get the food ready
meanwhile I can take you to your place".
It's the first time in my life I have ever experienced something like
Three weeks back, I had to walk all the way from the airport to Burdubai....
I was literally cursing the inefficiency of Dubai transport system.
Dubai taxi department claims to have 3500 (according to the call centre
staff the number has increased and it's beyond 5000 now) cabs but you
gotta be really lucky to find out a cab when you are in need for it.
Buses can no longer be an option here as they go round and round and
never allow the ladies to enter if the seats are occupied!
So, here, if you do not have your own vehicle, you at least need to
have a friend who drives. Else, life will be too miserable.
I was still surprised and was wondering whether she's an angel in her
abhaya! I could listen to her husband's grumble on the other side of
the phone...but her voice was very clear and stern "I will take
her home and be back soon".
I did not ask her name, occupation, whereabouts etc... That's all immaterial
to me. For me, she's an angel. Angel in abahaya*. She has touched my
heart and taught me a lesson. Yes, I too will help people when I'm in
the road on wheel!!
"Abahaya" is the black long dress worn by Muslim Women
lalita kakanadan March 2008
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