Tuesday, January 21, 2014
A ten day vacation was all that i needed after the tumultuous weeks i had at work, these past few weeks. I didn't have the faintest idea that this vacation that i had planned months ago would actually happen at the most opportune moment. I have had day long layovers at the Dubai airport en route to the US, but this is my first taste of the city. As we stepped out of the airport and took a taxi to the hotel the sprawling freeways reminded me of US. The wide six lane roads and disciplined lane traffic are a welcome break from the traffic and get-my-car-through road rage of India. First pit stop was the monorail and palm jumeirah, the blue of the sea as blue as the sky. The Dubai skyline is a vision. The Burj Khalifa stands tall proud of the phenomenal infrastructure growth that the country has witnessed over the past decade. It is no doubt an architectural marvel. Life here speaks volumes of the millions of dollars that has flown through the city and contributes to the magnificent skyline. It also talks about the thousands of labourers who have toiled in the blazing sun and built this city brick by brick. Thankfully our vacation was timed at the best time possible with regards to the weather. Cool days and cold nights didn't really give us the feel of a desert except the sand spread across acres, till your sight could travel. The desert safari was a memorable experience. Our friends had told us not to miss it and that was so true. The sand is the finest and felt so pure. The lower temperatures had cooled the sand and your feet felt cold with the sand beneath them. I wish i could have walked on sand for some more time. The beaches we have been to are no comparison to the feel of desert sand. The buffet dinner on traditional low height tables, seated on cushions, with belly dancers to entertain you is an experience in itself. This was the first time i entered a mosque. After adorning the abhaya, the traditional black attire that Muslim women wear, i entered the huge sheikh zayed mosque. It was a vision in white marble. As i tread into the mosque the cold marble kisses your feet and sends a wave of divinity to your mind. Asia's largest carpet lays there at sheikh zayeds final testing place, the pioneer of uae. The chandeliers fill up the ceiling and add granduer to the mausoleum. it was a great photo opportunity as the sun set behind the mosque adding to the feeling of divine intervention. At certain temples and churches i have this strange feeling of being blessed and this mosque was one of those places. This is my fifth day at Dubai and this has been a relaxing vacation. would i return? May be yes, may be not. I would love to come back to sheikh zayed mosque one day. But living in this city.. i may just pass that, despite the luxury and comfort this place oozes money everywhere, in contrast to Trivandrum, my most favourite place. Trivandrum has never failed to embrace me with warmth, right from the first time i walked in and each time i return to the city.