Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In quest of a lost charm...

"These cargo ships come from & go to Iran" told my companion. We were standing on the Port Khalid side of the creek which separates the port area from the rest of Sharjah. It was an early evening. Desert cold had started, and it would be chill there after the dark. In the middle of the hectic working hours, we had sneaked out for a fifteen minutes break; to travel in an "abra" across the creek of Sharjah. This creek runs through Sharjah, through Dubai. Those lucky lot who can not afford a car or do not have time to wait for a local transport bus use this inland waterway for their daily travel.

"Abra" is a ferry boat which carries you from the Port side to the city side. It is a 5 minutes sail across the creek, and he charges you 1.5 Dirhams. The waters acquire a beautiful golden shimmer in the evening; a lot of sea-gulls fluttering around. The shores are abuzz with activity. You can see a lot of boats, yatches and cargo ships anchored along the shores. They carry all kind of food, clothings, and assorted stuff. Instead of crossing the creek, if you sail along the creek for about a mile, there is deep sea. It is a day's journey to Iran from here to Iran by the ship, they say.

If you cross the creek you reach the part of the Sharjah city, which is now called Old Sharjah. With its neat, quiet and narrow lanes, historical, cultural and religious museums, intriguing curio shops... stands silent, humble but vivid and lively; in comparison with the rest of the city that is called Sharjah with all its bafflingly gorgeous roads, sky scrapers,hippy shopping mals, KFCs, MacDonalds and the same old dumb stuff.

A weak attempt to search for the soul of the town that was; a local concience that is lost somewhere in the global uniformity; Straining the ear drums to catch strains of that old-time arabic music...

Well, I know I have ignored this small corner of mine for quite long. There are many things that try to come out of the bonds of my laziness. This is one such fortunate sketch.

Rest, a while later.


Rashmi said...

Sir, your narration of Sharjah is very good.
I felt am going through some English Text book.

Srikanth said...

Very Vivid description of Sharjah. Good that someone has the mindset to take time off from the hectic work schedules, take a stroll and lament upon the city that was!

Anonymous said...


naanu arathi,

just came across ur blog while searching 4r kannada sangha in sharjah.

i saty here , u have penned ur thoughts abt sharjah creek nicely ,life here is as same as usual.same malls, same crowds, i feel there is so much to see in india ,unexplored !!i really miss my bangalore life.

Manjunatha Kollegala said...

Thanks Arathi, yes that is the fate of any modern city which succumbs to the waves of globalization. I have been to sharjah some 5-6 times, and I like the city for its old charm. I like it more than its richer cousin Dubai.

Thanks for your comments. You might like visit my other kannada blogs also