January 1st, 2013
When I finally reached the hotel room after seemingly hours of paperwork, waiting in lines, and figuring my way out, I had the choice of either crashing for the next few hours, or going outside hunting for some city exploration opportunities. With all the exhaustion from the previous flight, time differences, jet lag, and the overwhelming feeling of figuring things out, I was tempted to sink in the bed and go off to sleep. However, it felt like a crime to be in a new country for a few hours and not see it. So after what seemed like a long and torturing lunch buffet (torturing because it was the first meal I have had in a long time that was not home cooked), I went off to say hi to the lady at the kiosk selling tickets for the city tour. $30 did not seem bad at all for a four hour long trip; the real issue was compromising with sleep and rest.
As the sun went down over the Persian Gulf, I stared at all the affluence, the impressive hotels, the gold and the glitter that Dubai was. The humongous roads, expensive cars, and exit signs had an unmistakable resemblance with the US. But here I was closer to India than I was to the US. This trip had been emotionally exhausting for more reasons than one, and unlike other times, I vaguely looked at the buildings and tourist points without much registering in. The physical pain that came from the exhaustion and sleeplessness was palpable. After four never ending long hours, I was only too happy to get back to my room, take a long shower, and sink into the bed. I had exactly one hour before I had to wake up and leave for the airport. I was deep asleep even before I knew.
That was how the first day of 2013 happened to me. I should have been happy about visiting a new country, the 11th one for me. But nothing relieves me more than the prospect of hopping on to that long flight and going back home. Despite long hours of contemplation and reflection, I am unable to find that inner peace, that calm and composure that assures me that everything is in control. Something in me is at war, at a constant internal conflict. Something in me is dying every day, and I am clueless about what it is.
(Scribbled in haste and in a dark mood from the Dubai airport. And the new year resolution is to pen down my thoughts more frequently. This blog is dying, and I hate to see it that way. Happy new year everyone).