The place where I open my eyes… The place where my father was allowed to earn his livelihood, to bring his spouse and make his family…. The place where their people allowed to have my own national school and complete my education….
The place where Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) was born… The place where Islam was born and the God’s message revealed… The place where earth’s two of the three holiest mosques Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi are protected by those who call themselves it’s custodians…
The chosen nation whose chosen leaders not only serve their people but the entire Muslim brotherhood by providing you the best possible service in your Umrah and Hajj… Whose leaders invest billions and billions of dollars in holy mosque expansions to facilitate our prayers and worships…
It has been 85 years when King Abdulaziz announced the country as a kingdom. There is no such example where the religion and its followers are served in that massive capacity with token of respect… And today we celebrate this day with love and respect…
May God bless my Kingdom of Saudi Arabia….
May God bless my King, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman ibn Abdulaziz al Saud…
Follow me on twitter @saminaik_asn
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on” (Robert Frost)
Chasing the Time…
The title says it all. We all earthlings are chasing the time, questing for happiness, hiding our tears, hoping for peace, begging for mercy, seeking a justice, digging our graves, listening to the whispers, silencing the outcry, watching the cruelty, praying the pardon, facing the warned….
But above all…
We are chasing the time…
And this chase continues and time keeps defeating us again and again and again.
There was a home where I came to my senses, and I began completing my tenses. I began learning how to eat and wear the clothes, I began reading how to become able to life by …….. passing your academic exams. I began searching the lost soul of wisdom. I began dreaming high where the guardians forbid. There was a home where I celebrated my birthdays as the years went by and never realized that a year of my life existing on earth had its final say. There was a home where I came to an age of enticement and abide.
But there was a home where I never came to understand, I never came to realize that all my life was a ‘bloody LIE’, deceived by my own, humbled by a beast within me, truth never exposed or juxtaposed, cries never listened but heard… Yes… there was a home, missed by miles. Held my nerves, breathed and carried on.
There was a home I lived for two decades, where I began to talk, where I began to read and write my name, grew up, succeeded and lost….. Then all of a sudden in 2004, I lost my home… I lost my world… I lost my shelter… My eyes saw it destroyed, had no power to stop… Held my nerves, breathed and carried on.
“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed” (Eminem)
Indeed justification of life is unpredictable. And that is what happened when I lost that 20-year-old home. I had never expected what was coming in next 10 years. My family in the Kingdom then faced the most expensive outcry of breathing the alfresco i.e., the home I lost was not the last I moved. We were bound to change our residence three more times in next 8 years.
It was 12,000 SAR yearly rent of my 20-year-old home, a decade later I recently moved to my 5th home with a yearly rent of 26,000 SAR… For the first time in 30 years, I left the area where I grew up because of recent house-shifting crisis. And for what reasons?? Lemme blog out…
It was a perfect FML script written by someone above the rainless clouds. So allow me to speak a chapter of a turnaround in one expat family.
For years, we fed a cat since the day it began shouting from the back base of our building. It began climbing the stairs and sensed the familiar scent at doorsteps. It became a routine and soon all neighbors realized the cat-human real-life bond in their building. It became a disturbance, kids of our neighbors got scared and routinely began shouting all over the building.
Time passes by and natural phenomena began to reveal from the cat’s belly. It became a threat for us as we knew from our old experiences that cat never bore less than two kittens at a time. She gave birth to six kittens down the backyard of the building. Three of these died earlier but the rest also began to tweet the mother. Neighbors blamed the running circus on floors of building on us and warned they would kill all of these creatures if we didn’t manage to keep these stay away from the stairs. So we were bound to pet four kittens last year and they grew to adult age. This re-state of keeping cats as pets was not that expensive like before but of course, money talks.
Now let’s walk the talk. This last residency was a fly drown in a glass of water. In the beginning, the man to whom we signed the contract, left the building in few days and we realized that there is some years-long rift between him and his brothers. We kept receiving threats from his mental brothers to leave the spot but threats were harmless. Once one of them took my brother to the counselor and things were not that same. It was hard to consider another shifting of residence in such an expensive living environment.
A couple of months ago, my mom left to India after a long waiting state of applying for the visa. Soon she left, a couple of cops marched our doorsteps in few days to leave the building asap. It looked alarming situation but we were confirming from the owner of the building. The day came when the owner gave the painful briefing to leave the building in not more than a week. A week!!!!
The owner was in a very sorry state with the explanation that his brother registered the property case on his brother in court and a short notice issued to evacuate the building in a week. The quarrel was blundered between the brothers but the most to a gash and suffer were we the tenants. With heart in our mouth, here began Wacky Races between the tenants of searching their next residency with a global-warming acidic yearly rent to confront.
“Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor” (Sholom Aleichem)
Due to big-money rent pay involve in every ‘House for Rent’, the option to leave our area of 3-decades-stay become mandatory. It was the most disappointing search due to the reason. I was observing where the world is meeting its end, where are we going, how things are getting expensive, how life is getting complicated. With all our efforts to make a flat our home, we somehow began struggling to look for a new flat to pretend it a home and chasing the time again.
Then comes another painful time when we paid our final goodbye to our first ever car. 1982 model of Mazda 929 was our very first car bought back in mid 90’s. My father, myself and my brother learnt driving and the vehicle became the base of our normal routine with millions of golden memories. Last decade, it couldn’t afford the strength enough to stay long with us with many problems. It became a patient with regular medic visits. Later on, we bought Chevrolet Optra 5 years ago. We became used to of it. Then I bought Hyundai Veloster last year and then this Mazda became a history. Dead for a long time, the goodbye was very emotional. The dead car was in such a shape to bring a feeling as if a long-run loyal and faithful horse is finally giving up life to its owners.
As the days passed by, the short notice period came close to our throats. The cruel the nature of terrible fate was the absence of a wife/mother at home which was enough to break us badly. The quest of shelter continued and survival of the fittest finally met in last remaining 120 hours (almost close to Aaron Ralston’s fate).
“Often when we lose hope and think this is the end….GOD smiles from above and says, ‘Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!’” – Unknown
Living in Faisaliyah district, once questing in Bawadi district meeting a disappointment and returning back with a kind friend helping me in my quest. I was about to take a u-turn to my home with a mourning face to end another day in grief unfinished business, struck a hammer on my brain to take my chance near to Al-Salamah district with few remaining minutes to Maghrib prayers. The questing session in Al-Salamah looked fade with no sign of hope as usual until our eyes met a building with a signboard ‘House for rent’. ’twas like if the most beautiful girl offered me her life…..
Anyhow the location was observed and was far beyond than a level of satisfaction. This home was bought with no waste of time in taking the decision at 26,000 SAR (after bargaining btw). The next challenge was……….. shifting without mother!!!
To our good luck, when shifting was to be done, the weekends were about to began with the most possibility that our friends will help us in such critical situation. And that did happen, saying a humble ‘Thank You’ wasn’t enough nor was I able to make words or phrases to express the support I received from them.
A large vehicle was too expensive and unaffordable. So the camel of a carriage was one of our friend’s pickup. So expectations of numerous rounds of shifting were already expected, and efforts of more the time-consuming on moving and dropping objects at a pace were on the count. We had enough friends to help us on that particular weekend of exhaustion and combustion.
The real session was taking all the home stuff from top floor to base. Plus the packing especially the kitchen accessories required mom’s assistance. In her absence, my father and brothers had to repeatedly co.ordinate with her on Skype, through a video chat she had to view every inch of shifting stuff and decide what to reject or not. Thanks to technology which made it lil easy to co.ordinate our complicated home shifting without her presence but presence.
The interesting scene was of cabinets of the kitchen. The newly bought home had only one cabinet. Buying the new was within our financial reach, the only idea brought things to accept reality was to take the existing cabinets with us. My father proposed this idea and my brother seeking permission from the owner, he gave his consent. Within few minutes, the owner called and gave us consent to take all the cabinets (he did permit to show his anger for sure on his brother’s case filing attempt). Opening the cabinets, you need a special mechanism to un-wall. Our pickup friend helped out, with other friends altogether put the heavy labor of hours to take household shape in our matters.
Under 48 hours my father and our friends had unscrewed all major furniture and fittings, every single piece was poured down from one stair to another. Housing in 2nd floor, a friend proposed an idea that each of us must stand on each corner of stairs down till the pickup and movement of objects can be made faster in different hands at a time. The plan worked, energy saved, morale boosted. In almost three days, the whole of household items was moved. Physical exhaustion had its peak.
The view of home shifting in the building was an absolute madness. It was expected that moving of tenants within a week will make things look abnormal but one brother’s fight for power and hunger for money messed the whole situation with the funny part that he himself was the tenant of this building. They were four brothers in all once living in this building, the rest you may understand…
The day shifting began, was the day of presenting household items in shape of an open exhibition. Not only were we moving our stuff with a pickup waiting outside, also were three other tenants joining the household labor parade with two trucks parked and congested the place with no cars to move a big space. The 4-tenants open exhibition produced a dozen labors plus ourselves bringing down the items, and a lively atmosphere of children of tenants playing outside. It was an outcry.
“Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life” (John F. Kennedy)
With the beginning of a new week by night, we introduced all of our four cats to the new home. Naturally, they didn’t accept the change. Confound and feeling betrayed, sniffing and wandering. With new home installed on the ground floor, guests of Al-Salamah were about to face their toughest challenge, meet the local cats of Al-Salamah. The local salamah.fm began to invite the outbreak outside our home, as the local cats surrounding outside the netted balcony looked like the White Walkers of ‘Game of Thrones’.
With all the cats struggling to accept the change, one of these could not qualify and met to its disaster. Rebuilding a new enthusiasm of unpacking, screwing and placing all the items, we fell mentally disturbed towards the nature of this cat. Unnaturally it went shouting for 12 straight hours. The next morning my father began shouting that it was hitting his head on the wall and walking like a blind. He was right, that cat dramatically lost his eyesight, he wasn’t able to see or understand what lies ahead of its walk anymore.
In few hours, we met another sign of horror from it, the cat was now not even sensing normally. Shaking, moving its head, lying like a dead, eyeballs getting wide and not attending us like before. We rushed to the vet clinic where the doc stated a temporary brain injury by perhaps a hit on its head allowing blindness. Brain injury meant it would not last for long. We could not hold tears and return home hopeless.
The other story broke in India when I came to know that mom had a terrible sprain on lumbar spine which pulled her nerves. She wasn’t able to walk or sit. Therapy was going for weeks. She didn’t inform us due to our shifting crises. My mother could have completed her therapy in India with a genuine delay, but yet again the local Kingdom procedures of iqama renewals made her return to Kingdom soon. These surely were the hardest times of life at a very wrong time.
My brother and I began cleaning the brain hit cat. It was kept in balcony alone for days due to the fact that it went crazy with other cats and was a possibility to spread its problem in other. The cat wasn’t able to move or walk. It passed its urine on its own body, in addition of bags of dust and litter already occupying its skin. We realized that further dirt will increase chances of increasing the disease or such a massive pain will kill it severely. We put the cat on bath by pouring water on it, lice-shampooed its body, brushed and combed it. Cleaned and washed the balcony. Mom had advised us to manage Zamzam water for its drinking and wiping it while praying some supplications.
Things worked as the cat struggled to survive and tried to bring things back to normality. In these days, Alhamdulillah it is active and can sense normally but lack the eyesight. On the other hand, my mother began walking and returned back to the city. How strange the life can be, she left to India in one home and returned in the other.
More stories and incidents will enter my life. Until now this is one critical chapter really needed to blog off. The reason behind writing this blog isn’t a personal diary to open. My purpose of narrating a sudden panic in life is to tell the reader how a common man in the Kingdom gets hypnotized of a situation when a second person indirectly kicks you and makes your life miserable. How a citizen becomes an expat.
While reading the whole, one will realize a socio-economic issue is persistently prevailing. Being a common man, I am not physically tortured but wounded with a burning fate trying to escape. The man who filed the case was no one to me, and life of the whole family got messed. The one who will collect family iqamas indirectly made mom’s health at risk but with no intention. Had there no such rules, my mother had fully and quickly recovered in India. The doctor who stated the cat suffered the brain injury was incorrect.
Last of all, I would like to thank my friends who helped us in our critical times of home shifting. Although I don’t write names in the blogs but I should mention due to their efforts. I would like to thank Moizuddin Bhai for helping us out in the unstoppable quest for new residency and supported/guided us when required. I would like to thank our friends Faizan, Alpha, Taha, Maroof and Rizwan who helped us in home shifting and worked day and night. In the end, I would like to especially thank Waqas and Umair, without whom this amount of work would neither have been finished nor the shifting would have ever been possible. May Allah bless you all.
It is all about only one person to rely on, cheer, motivate and make him/her powerful to survive the life and make him/her run with time. YOU. Believe in yourself… Time will pass by and will never stop and we all will grow more and more and more. So
I AM SAMI NAIK
Je me baladais sur l’avenue
Le coeur ouvert à l’inconnu
J’avais envie de dire bonjour
À n’importe qui
N’importe qui ce fut toi
Je t’ai dit n’importe quoi
Il suffisait de te parler
Pour t’apprivoiser – [Joe Dassin – Champs Elysées (1969)]
11.30 am Thursday…
Thursday is half day… mmm full day…
Half asleep and full snoring…
Itching my ass and dust on my bed…
A rumbling routine and mumbling routine…
Sumbuddy aching my ears to WAKE UP!!!! Ahhh it is not my harlot in scarlet, it is our confound abba (father) in twilight. Now what??? yeah prayer time… so lets pray and worship Facebook…
I am the face of book on hat-trick to get blocked for past few years. I am one of the profiles who receive boring notifications but fold my legs on the sofa when receive a message in inbox. What is inside???? Nothing… it was just a fucking 8-ball pool game invitation!!!!
Good morning Jeddah. My beloved city where I was born, where I was raised from boyhood to adulthood. The food and sea of this city is the pride specialty.
Mornings and Evenings, I walk the lines in awakenings…. in city of happenings…. driving in the shelter of persuasion and embracement that the automobiles will be at peace but not piece… but tragically it is tantalizingly a no-holds-barred match at every space of road…
Every vehicle in Jeddah is experimented not with the driver’s capacity of capable driving but overcoming the feasibility of meeting the ditches in the road. I am a proud citizen to be one of many who encounter and flounder.
Hail the morning of Jeddah. My city is half-awake till call of prayer for Zuhr. The cars parked are washed with the washer half-asleep. Breakfasts are done for hours with no fixed timings. Building constructions are performed by unskilled labors.
Traffic are jammed, minor vehicle-hit accidents have made the roads congested. Cafeterias are noisy of orders and frying eggs but salons and stationary are dull. Banks are crowded and govt offices carry long stinky queues. Translation offices have problems in their scanners and printers. Nurses in medical institutions are coming on time and patients are long waiting for the arrival of doctors.
Educational sites are over-crowded with every size of life-appetizers and transports whereas industrial areas suffer more of heavy trucks, breaking the traffic signals and bounding the other vehicles to cross any side resulting into hours long traffic jam. Malls in morning are bunk places and malls in evening are over-crowded with more walks and talks, entering the shops, gimmicking the individuality, asking the prices and walking away.
In well-popularized malls, morning witnesses many foreign customers than evenings. Most of the flock of feminine are famines in self-presentation, very cosmetic-bluffed, powdered more than a clown, eyebrows furnished like Groucho Marx and contesting their slimness with the hockey stick or HB pencil.
As a customer, they are worst than the Chinese. Few of them don’t even know to whether pull or push the door of boutique outlet. As the trip ends and comes out of mall, their outside world is more cruel with the reception of world’s most cheapest wannabe boyfriends and freshy bunkers/bonkers. Oh world!!!! where are you moving towards????
A city/country with tremendous potential and source, but outspoken when it cannot meet the criteria of world’s social and moral customs. Within the binding of living culture lies a stinky ego in the alfresco. Ex-pets and local-pets are fragmented/tormented to each other by abiding the rules & laws, which are sometimes confused with religion, sometimes barred with gender-mixing and sometimes unjustified with social life and employments.
When I take a look at history of human civilization, making of warriors and empires, rising of arm forces; I come to realize and make my firm belief that there are only and only 2 ways when the greatest nations in the world are build;
1. Either by ruling over the others or
2. By building the empire/nation on your own.
What part are we, what land are we?
What soil we fertile, why curse we missile?
What proud are we, then why hopeless are we?
May we all realize and correct our mistakes, admit our sins and ask for repentance, sustain and maintain with words of wisdom under the guidance and protection of Allah.. Ameen.
May my prays and wishes come true, but that is a further stage, what about now. We suffer the duffer and praise the bluffer. The animals exemplify how human they are, we tend to qualify how animal we are. The brothers fight under plight and we smell more nonsense when we realize their bizarre reasons, is that what we live to listen for?
The world we are living is the place where your newspapers are absolute lawyers of liars and social networking websites are truth-speakers. The world we are breathing is the place where the educators and thinkers (influenced to many millions of viewers, listeners and readers) are non-believers to the existence of Allah but the poorest and the beggar of His blessing is the most religious and faithful to Allah. Just take a moment and think about it!
We bullshit the utter nonsense that science and technology has exceeded the limit of serving humanity and easing/comforting the life. Really?? Then why we suffer more diseases than before?? Why the young generation has become more frustrated than before?? Why people are complaining more of heart diseases, increase of sugar level or blood pressure than before?? If condoms are the gateway of safe sexual intercourse, then why are there more cases of HIV than before? Don’t irritate, just think about it!
With time goes by, our minds are controlled with the installment and persistence of fixed jurisdiction throughout the world. We are bound to think to the limit, not crossing the limit and thinking beyond. This is the soup in the bowl, this is bread in the plate, now have your meal. We are the most common creatures to accept what is said and done. We confess what the majority decides and declare a person either he is truth-speaker or a liar, a leader or deceiver.
When we come to the conclusions after summing all the united states of confusions and distortion, everything goes messed and wrong. Clashes between different schools of thought begin, historic sites are put on demolition, peace is pieced by unrest strikes and violence of riots, oil prices increase, demand in stock decrease, frustrations of gentlemen makes them genitalmen, children read guns and shoot books, animal cruelty is enjoyed, places of worship become favorite spot of terrorism, clapping hands become a sign of celebration, playing foul games and illegal affairs with opposite sex count in resume of honor, history becomes boring and adult movies become interesting, ancestors are your demons and girlfriends are your angels….
Just a month ago, Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey placed Jeddah, the 9th most cheapest city in the world. Are you kidding me??? Life is getting expensive, food is getting expensive, even the cost of breathing or living is getting way expensive than ever. I lived my first 20 years of life in a 4-room flat which cost us 12,000 SAR a year as rent from 1984-2004. To this year 2014, we have changed our residence thrice with an extraordinary rise of 9,000 SAR a year. Bring this economically ill statistician to me, so I can interrogate his qualifications with ease.
Like I said above that “The brothers fight under plight and we smell more nonsense when we realize their bizarre reasons”. The owner of the building we reside had a years-long running dispute over property with his brothers. The case is now subjugated and won by one of brothers who was hungry of snatching the whole property from them. And as result, the court has short-noticed to evacuate the building within 10 days. I repeat, within 10 days!!! Can you just imagine and calculate the sudden rise of mountains on the heads of all living/existing tenants?? The brothers were fighting for property but we are the one losing the shelter and facing the sun heat. So is it really easy to look for your new home, shift your belongings and migrate to a new home sweet home within 10 fucking days???? With me, my fellow neighbors have also experiencing painful situation. May we all tenants overcome the situation, get new homes which bring blessings to us and our families Ameen.
Sometimes the burden of chastise is shouldered by the salted amount of foul hands which sweats the half-wit bullied-wicked game to demoralize you. Not every local is cruel or a hunter-man. But lack of education and early fragrance of money and power to rule (not lead) put most of the locals in immortality and make the non-locals feel as frantic. People responsible for the welfare of this country should adopt measures to ease both locals and non-locals, so they can serve and make their own life and also of their family and kinsmen here.
Turning back to my life, I keep myself low-profile. Besides my work, I am a globetrotter, I like traveling with few of my fellow globetrotters and enjoy lifetime experience of visiting amazing sites in Saudi Arabia. Of course there is a temporary break now. I walk the work and decide what to do, eat what I want as food prepared at home or outside with friends, download and watch the movie I want, read the book I want. (Comfort yourself, overcome the complicated situations) When I drive my car, I keep my ears unnoticed of possible sounds of horns to enter my eardrums by playing the songs on my mobile connected by blue-tooth to my car because I don’t want my ears to listen traffic noises. Every month, I am notified on my mobile that I violated the traffic rules by over-speeding. Fine! I pay and I don’t cry.
Like hundreds of time, myself and driver of other vehicle come to terms to cross a road or street, I indicate him by hand to go first. Reply! he raise his palm of gratitude. Scores of time also, the pedestrians walk in front of my running car and begin losing the edge whether to move or back up, I point them to forward your steps. Reply! they smile and raise their palm and run.
Why am I speaking/telling what the fuck do I do? You don’t give a damn innit? But just notice my last 2 paragraphs, isn’t there something you find you don’t behave like me? Are you still at ease in your life? With all my miseries I personally and emotionally have suffered in my life, I adopt my own measures to live my life freely. Imagine if you are working with your own decisions; eating watching drinking reading listening whatever you want to; paying your installments, fines, penalties without panicking for no good reason, like how many tensions you overcome and breathe your life.
What if you really give the fellow driver a chance to drive the road first, what if you let the pedestrian cross the street before you race. You are on your own benefit of what you did for yourself and your life. Simply the angel on your right shoulder write good notes about you and mark your safety for right-doings. What if I tell you to get attracted from the beauty of a girl/woman crossing from your sight but do wish her that she get a loving and caring husband? I know this will sound funny, but trust me its magic.
I dream and imagine that I live in my own mansion near the sea shores, no greed of money and power but blossom of happiness and merriness. Sounds of sea waves fell high on my ears, seagulls caws and squawks. Listen the soul refreshing songs which I loved the most. The girl to whom I have loved the most join me in my prime. And I enjoy a joyous wonderful cold weather and spend a wonderful moment of life with her.
Ahh that feeling!!!! Einstein was right… “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.
You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us, And the world will live as one
I AM SAMI NAIK
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @saminaik_asn