The first meeting i had with this gentle man was during my schooling in Dubai.He was the kind of fellow who did not seem to have much of an education. From the conversations between my parents,i was able to make out that this person was infact a distant relative of mine and had come here as a laborer to be employed with one of the many private companies plying in Dubai. Mom mentioned he would live with us till he got a better place to shift to.He seemed very childish to me, but his eyes had a gleam in them and it seemed to hold lots of dreams and aspirations which he hoped could be accomplished in this country.Later on,he shifted to the company quarters .He was basically brought here as a manual labor to load and unload stuff from huge trucks which brought in building equipments and that would earn him a mere income but enough to send home to his family in India.Me being a school student during that period was not much interested in him.After all i was one of those kids born with a silver spoon and my life was just normal as ever.I completed my schooling and had to move to India for future studies.The last time i remember meeting him was during a religious occasion in our house. Little did i Know at the time that my next encounter with this man would span a decade .During the course of my Engineering studies in India ,i came to know that the company which he worked for went bust.One of the first questions which interestingly came to my mind was about the whereabouts of this distant relative of mine.He did not have a financial setting to back him up but i hoped he would somehow cope through it and land up another job.I lost trail of him and i myself had a lot on my head trying to land a job myself during the turbulent times post 9/11 ……
Weeks,months,years passed and a decade later the world was buzzing back to normality again and somehow i managed to land in the US. During a one month vacation in india,this man once again bumped into me.Curiously,i asked him about the phase of his life i had missed out;the part from being jobless.The events which he described sounded kind of interesting to me but for him it was an exhaustive ride of survival through those years to meet his family’s basic needs.He said it without any trace of emotion.It seems ,he managed to get a job in a store for some time .He was promised a working visa by his new employers in just a couple of months.He was happy .Things started looking brighter .and just when the seeds of optimism was about to bear fruit ,fate once again raised its ugly head.As per a new rule,the UAE government decided to ship back all workers without a valid visa to their home country.Guess what!, this person unfortunately fit the bill.
He reached home(India) with a wife and one year old to tend to. He managed to acquire a laborers job there also via some political connections.Our person tells me excitedly that every sack he unloads from a truck would earn him 40-50 Rs and that the godown would have an average of one to two trucks per day and There are days when no truck arrives rendering him payless for that day. All these events have not unfazed him much.He speaks enthusiastically of his little girl who is doing well and earning good grades in her Ist Standard.He hopes she would get the education he missed out on.But for that he needs to earn at a much higher scale.He informed me that Through a friend he has once again started the proceedings for acquiring a visa to give one more shot to th Gulf.This foreign land had given him hope in his first visit there.He hopes his next tenure would go smoothly and last much longer.He is willing to sweat out in those barren deserts and do everything in his power to give the gift of education to his daughter and a much better life(which many fortunate people like us have, but still our greed consumes us).The Gulf as a destination has been the land where millions of Indians have set out to make their lives.Some people succeed and others dont ,but still it has not deterred people like this man to pursue his dreams,……I pray for the success of this man and all the others who have tread the same path to the land of oppurtunities,The gulf…..The Dream of the Arabian Nights Lingers on….
Ps:This photo has been taken from the Internet and the person present in it is not the actual one.