Sunday, August 15, 2010

Life in Middle East – II


For driving you need license, but what about walking out of home, yes, you must have something like that. When going out, without fails, one must take work permit (Ikkama) or passport with him. No one knows when police comes for patrolling. In their random check, when some one is not having above specified document, he will be taken to police station, then either his employer or visa sponsorer has to come to take him or some of his room mates has to come with Ikkama. Indepedant of profession, they will be taken to police station, without Ikkama how can they make out, what is he doing. Once I forgot to take my passport and left for browsing center. Calling from middle east is bit expensive, so mostly I prefer to chat over net. In 2003 only chatting over net became so popular in all walks of life. When I came out of shopping complex, surprise was waiting for me.

After seeing the cop only I realized, I forgot to take my passport. Other than chatting in browsing center, I did not have anything to do in that shopping complex, even I did not take my wallet also, just took only 1KD (3.5 USD) to chat at browsing cop-writing-ticketcenter. How long I can roam inside the shopping center without buying anything. For my bad time, cop was also not leaving from that place, might be he ought to cover up, quota of that month. Finally I decided not to stay back, for my bad time, no other way to go to my house. At the end, made up my mind to apply the same technique, what I used to do in college. When lecturer is randomly asking question, those who don’t know, they used to avoid looking at them. Their body language itself show that they have not read what taught yesterday and exactly lecturer used to pick them only, but comfortably I used to look at them as I was so eager to give answer, actually I also did not know the answer, what else I can do, like wise confidently I started walking in front of him without making even a single eye contact. I asked him “excuse me” and simply I passed by, gods grace he could not identify, that I was over acting. After coming home, I was patting myself, as I did a great job in my life, since then as long as I was there, one thing I made sure passport must be with me. Weather you are wearing your inner dress or not, no one is bothered, but never forget to take passport or ikkama with you.

In front of our building, on Wednesday and Thursday, we used to play badminton. because in middle east weekly holiday starts on Wednesday evening, Saturday again we have to go back to office, so Friday evening we used to sit very frustrated like “why it is happening in my life alone”. Then on Saturday morning we used to console our self by saying, “it is ok, we are not alone in this worldly trouble”. In every building there will be security guy (harris in arabic), same guy used to look after maintenance also. He is from Afghanistan. Once he came and told us in broken Hindi “you should not play here,  next time if I see, I will cut the net. We were so surprised, what is the need of telling like this. I could not understand, what went wrong. He put a full stop to our badminton, then myself and friend started playing ping pong in the opposite building. After couple weeks, on week end, when we are returning back to our room after 12’O clock, he took one Pilipino girl with him to his room. He also noticed that we noticed. According to law, that is not right. Next day when I came out of elevator, it happened to meet him. he talked to me politely and told if we want, we could play up to 11 and after that it would be disturbance to neighbors. At least I understood what is the problem and to whom it was a disturbance. Again root cause is, according to his salary level, he was also not having family status.

One day I went to meet one of my friends relative. Reached his house at around 8.30PM.  He was so desperate to send me out of his room when it was about 9PM. Some one knocked the door, when I got up to open, he said “no no, I will open”, because I was sitting close to door. SriLankan lady came. I did not know, weather to leave immediately or to sit like nothing I did see. She directly went inside the kitchen. He himself told, she used to come for cleaning the house and for cooking. For his income and for a single bed room, what is the need of cleaning and cooking, when good quality food was being served all 3 times at staff canteen. With in 5 minutes I came out and asked him to take care. When I was waiting for my taxi, he told me that for your age and newly married people like you talk and try to live in love and affection, I don’t know still how many years of life left for me and if I look back I also did not know, what did I achieve in my life and at least I wanted to be true to myself. It seems, initially he was also not comfortable, now he was not guilty at all. In any way, talking impolite and infidelity, can not be justified, but environment also needs to conducive.

At last I wish to share another incident which happened in my second return trip. When you are travelling in middle east segment, obviously you would have witness that, lot of people used to ask for help to fill up the embarkation form. Moment you start with one form, you will be keep on getting passport with embarkation form, mostly this work continue for around 2 hours from take off. Finally I got completely different passport, that is also Indian passport only, but it looks like a big folder. After filled up his form, I went to his seat to give him. He asked to me sit with him for some time and enquired that “will there be any problem airtravelwith this passport when I reach India”. Frankly speak, at that time I was also not much aware of such a ad hock passport and that is the first time I am seeing such a document. Shocking thing is, he had some issue with his employer and employer burnt his passport. As I told earlier, without passport, you are non existing person in that land. His last 6 months salary was also not settled. After borrowing from some of his friends, he accumulated some KDs (Kuwaiti Dinars) to buy air ticket to India. When he came to airport they took him to out jail in the airport and he was there for 3 days till they arranged temporary Indian passport. I told him to forget it as a bad dream and not to disclose to anyone at home, no point in revealing bitter past. After reaching Chennai airport, refreshed himself, wore white shirt with tie. Walked to his family as everything went fine in abroad. I too walked past him, as I never knew him before.

Candle melts when it gives brightness, but why we need melt like that. In a job nothing called high or low, salary may differ. Job is for us and we are not for any job. Just it is for our survival, we did not born to do any specific job. We can learn lessons in life, but being lesson to others is a horrible pain.

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