Why I Write ...

Purely as a form of expression to the emotions that run riot in my life at different junctures. This blog has seen several title revisions that also reflect the state of being and evolution I am constantly in. If one were to remain stagnant in hope of never changing their temporal present, one will awaken someday to much regret. Life is about living, evolving and adapting to the constant changes all around us.

My spot on the web is essentially a journey along with my monologue ramblings of my coherent mind accompanied by the incoherent thing called life. Read me if you like ... if you don't it is not the end of the world. I am at the very least a believer in humility lifts us further than pride.

Happy trails

28 November 2010

Doing Different Things ... Nov 28, 2010

Over the past weekend in Dubai, I had an amazing time out with some complete strangers and some friends I'd made since moving here on work.

I was asked rather randomly one day if I'd be interested in going on a trek some where in UAE in the coming winter weeks when the sun is not as harsh and unforgiving as it is in the summer months.

At first I wondered about this trek and wanted to decline since if you've seen me you know I am no fitness buff and I didn't want to embarrass myself agreeing to go and then not really doing any acceptable amount of trekking.

But in the end I said what heck ... we live but once. Let's go. Didn't cost me anything, it was an opportunity to soak in some nice weather, also a chance to hang out with some folks I knew and open myself to the chance of meeting new folks - one can never have too many friends.

So having convinced 2 lady friends although one had to pull out because she was still recovering a bout of flu, we talked 2 chaps from work to go along. In the end it was 2 ladies and a chap in our car. There was no doubts some amount of drama in the early hours since chaps being chaps anything on a Friday morning starting at 6am is a difficult task to achieve - i.e. waking up :))

But soon we were hurtling along. Originally there was a plan to head to Fujairah and discover new things. Was really excited as I'd never been to Fujairah before. However on the morning of the 26th we were heading up to Hatta Dam bordering Oman. Hmmmmm ok ... I'd been there before trekking for wadis but it was to the Dam we were heading now.

It was Siny and Raja's first time to Hatta mountains and they were both excited. From the pictures we took you will know what an awesome view we had and how much fun we had climbing some slopes.

Post the climb and drive back to Dubai we decided to have lunch a the Seaman's Marine Club in Bur Dubai and that's when we started getting to know the others. And although strangers, we felt really at ease and I know I made some new friends. The Friday ended for me with plans for an overnight camping trip out in the desert when I get back in January. YAY!!!

I got home with slightly lead laden legs, showered long under piping hot water, took a Mobic pill for the throbbing lower back and Deep Heat rubbed into all sore joints I called it an early night. Was called later in the evening and asked if I wanted to go out to a joint called Time Cafe where there's some everyone single along karaoke coz apparently I am now also labelled "crooner" *rolls eyes* ... but I declined as at that time all I had on my mind was my cozy pillows and sleep.

I spent much of Saturday slightly amazed my body didn't hurt as I thought it might from being completely inactive. I had some leftover spicy Chicken Chilli 35 in the freezer so I decided to cook some rice and have it with this. As the rice began to bubble, I had a brainchild. How is it that they make Dum Briyani? So I put the chicken into the cooking rice and when the cooker kicked off I had a pretty well balanced rice and spicy chicken mix. And that was how I found out how to make a version of briyani on a lazy Saturday afternoon :)

Sometimes when you have nothing to do that's interesting, you find yourself gravitating to the bed which is where I found myself around 15:00 and next thing I knew my phone was ringing at 17:30 ... Raja was on the other side asking "Hey you want to go out for Goan food tonight?" ... aside from the fact I had nothing planned for my evening meal and that I was also too lazy to cook, I decided that ok I needed to get out of this cabin mode I tend to keep myself in over weekends.

So it was agreed Vallie, Raja and I would go have Goan food that evening at Casa Goa in Palm Beach Hotel down in Bur Dubai. Now an interesting thing I noted. All the funkier type characters seemed to be found this side of Dubai. Even the Filipina 'kupu kupu malam' (night butterflies) in their super micro short shorts and button busting micro tops .... Ooooooo the more colourful side of town I noted ;-)

Vallie had insisted that the food would be spicy but somehow both Raja and me found it rather lacking on the spice-o-meter scale. My Chicken Chilli 35 (derived from 35 dried chillies ground with 1 tomato) was WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY spicier. This was like a stroll in the park ... I didn't break a sweat at all and we did try quite a few dishes. Almost 300AED bill reminded me again why I do not go out for meals in Dubai. It's so expensive. Cooking for my community lunches is a far cheaper option :)

Nevertheless it was a great evening out with the usual suspects ... laughing talking taking jibes at each other. And it was a chance to forget some of the more pressing matters that plague me the worry wart that I am. I decided that I'd address these matters a little later as the facts weren't changing now or later. It was just good to feel alive and that living was possible.

We can find joys in small things. An outdoor trip, a shared lunch with friends, coffee sessions after work (am important teh tarik habit from home), finding reasons to laugh at oneself and the idiosyncrasies of others, it all helps one find ones balance in this big deal called existence.

I came away from the weekend with some new friends, and stronger ties with people I already call friends. Its all about living in the present and knowing where you're heading to in the future.

To the month of December I look, another year closes, an review of where I am now, family time in Malaysia with my girls and siblings and parents and of course friends. As the 31st draws to a close, I look ahead to 2011 - a new decade of my life, new milestones, all possibilities are ahead of me.

I wish you a blessed day and days ahead ... simply because once you have touched my life, you will always be there - special in my life. Till the next jottings of the incoherent mind :))

15 November 2010

Many Changes And Yet .... Nov 15, 2010

I have to admit coming out here, I'd have thought I'd be having loads of time to write and think and share my ramblings a little more regularly. However the move into my apartment meant that I didn't have an internet connection unless I was willing to budget a sizeable amount of my monthly survival budget. But recently I managed to get a temporary connection and hence here comes my first thoughts as I sit looking out of my main balcony watching lights flicker in the distance.

It is the eve of Eid Al Adha and I have been given a 3 day holiday ... so this effectively is my shortest work week since I got here. On Thursday I go in and then my weekend again - heeheheh I could get used to this.

Also I am counting the days down till I hop on my plane and head home for a good 3weeks of the kids and family and Christmas time - my favourite time of the year.

2010 has been a year of change. Mostly because I wanted my life to change. I was tired of how my 30s had passed me by in endless court appearances and only more heartache instead of solutions. Tired that people saw the troubles in my personal life as their basis to nitpick and say I was no good in my professional life even though I'd spill my gut just to be the best to my clients.

The one thing I learnt about all of this is that perspective plays a very pivotal role in life and living it. For almost a decade I saw myself as a unceremoniously disposed wife, a struggling mother, a daughter who'd failed her parents, and a sibling that could not in anyway contribute to making anything better, only worse.

Some of the choices and decisions I made were in some way bitter bile I kept repeating mistakes and making even worse choices and decisions. I went into a reclusive mode, I went into a sabbatical from faith, I went on an experimental stage of trying new things and thinking maybe if I hopped on board the way the world was revolving - somehow I'd fit in and I'd be normal in the eyes of everyone and perhaps they might actually accept that really I was no different from them.

At times I hated myself for seeming so spineless and stupid. I hated how I looked and yet I did nothing to look otherwise. Being ugly and unattractive meant less chances of more disappointments in my life. A life that has always had pain as an uninvited bed partner. A heart that dreamt of living the perfect fairytale, a brain that told me to wake up, accept my reality.

And then this opportunity to move away from everything I'd ever known, to make it in a new place on my own, to learn most importantly about me. The innumerable doubts and questions that went through. The painful fact that I had to be away from my babies. It was overwhelming.

And it still is, sometimes I ask myself what am I doing here?

The fact of the matter as the months roll by is I am pretty much living my life the way I did back home. There is no extravagance that people associate with a move to the middle east. The perceived mountain of money they think I am swimming in and using to wipe my ass instead of toilet paper is far from the truth. Pretty much everything I earn is pumped home to meet all those financial obligations that need to be looked into.

Years of struggling has made me a soul sold to the devil of credit cards and loans just to keep things moving, paying legal fees for the longest ever drawn out divorce case which in the end was pure waste of time and money - because even today nothing has changed. Jacob still does not pay maintenance in a timely manner. His mother still continues to antagonise my daughters with her periodic phone calls. At times I want to yell at her to go be happy with her grandson that Jacob had even before he got divorced. Why torment us continually???? Every time my babies hurt, I hurt. And I have hurt a long time, it is now time to heal and find peace.

I spend endless evenings at my dining table in my minimalist apartment staring out into the evening. I have become paranoid to think too much into the future. To plan too much because experience tells me every time I have done that, plans go haywire and I end up trying to get to my feet.

Here in Dubai, I have taken time to think. To look into my soul. And in my imperfections, I find I am whole. By nature I tend to give myself whole to any relationship I have with another human being. And I am learning sometimes it is best to withhold some, because not everyone gives any value to what you give them.

People are quite a mishmash of characters. There are the givers the takers the in-betweens and sometimes in this whole madness you find gems who give you a gentle nudge who make you look at your life and be thankful and grateful that life could have turned out far worse but as they say insyallah, by God's grace life is getting better.

I have made myself new friends since the move here. And in some of them, I see a little of myself. I can give advice as well as take it much better now because I am able to see that the strength in surviving life's trials is that one must first love one's self.

This is not in a narcissistic way! ... self love is about understanding yourself and most of all accepting who you are and why you are. This is a self discovery journey that only happens when one is ready to face truths and decidedly take affirmative action.

I have always been blessed with people who have loved me because I am love worthy! and even when I believed I was unworthy, they loved me more. Always gently nudging and encouraging me to take a step back, and look at me like how they see me. Who have constantly reminded me that those who hurt me in the past should remain there in the past buried and that each today is a chance to rebuild my life. And each tomorrow's foundation starts here and now.

Occasionally I still lose my temper, especially if it has anything related to Jacob and his continued nonsense. Sometimes I wonder if he expects that constantly being a pain in my rear end, I'd somehow be lobotomised should he ever turn up on my doorstep needing my help for me to actually help him. Errrrr sorry la ok, you are past trash I ditched, the only reason I have to even know if you're alive is because of the girls. Otherwise I don't really give a flying fuck as you used to say!

I watched the movie Eat Pray Love - and that movie spoke to me. I made a friend in cabbie I call Happy Singh - who seems like the male version of me with his commitments to family back in Punjab. Restless for change, looking to be something other than a cab driver who garners no respect in Dubai. For a kid of 26, he has an old soul. Whenever we talk, I find myself amused that I understand completely what he is feeling and what his struggles are ... because ironically I am on the brink of 40 and still looking for that niche which puts me par excellence above everyone else ... why? Because I know I am that good, just I need to find my mojo ... if you understand what I mean.

Hearing some of the stories of my other single mother friends, the choices they have made, relationships that they have found themselves in, I wonder if they too would benefit from just packing up and taking a journey away from all that is familiar and that they too find it in themselves to improve their relationships with the most important person in their lives - themselves!

The hardest person to love unconditionally is yourself, because we always put more value to the other people who come into our lives transitory or not. And giving them all of ourselves, we starve ourselves of our love, compassion, understanding and nurturing.

Here alone in my evenings in Dubai staring out into the silence that is my constant companion, I know that all my pains are slowly healing, and that in loving myself some, I am going to be able to give those I love most in this world will benefit from a happy content .ani

Until next time, there are many more nights of thoughts and healing and in time with the changes, all positive my light will shine bright. I am not called sunshine for no reason :) you know by total strangers I come in contact with.