This is a piece I wrote for my column ‘My Take’ in the Muscat Daily, on 8/8/ 2011. Looking at it again, reminded me of so much that is common to this point in time, so I've decided to share it with you.
|Ramadan nights in the Gulf|
One week into Ramadan and life is so very different for all of us living in the Gulf. The days seem shorter and the nights longer, but it’s really all in the mind, and one knows that things can look different from one perspective, and then again, completely different from the other.
But one of the greatest benefits of this period (apart from so many others) and one that should really be capitalized on, is for those people who have seriously considered the idea of quitting smoking, but for one reason or another, not been able to kick off the habit during ‘normal’ days.
We might like to think of it as an excuse, but for smokers, it just might be really difficult to resist the urge when everybody around them is puffing away and the smoke weaves its insidious spell and claims yet another reluctant smoker. So this Ramadan, make up your mind and go for it!
And if you are able to stay on course, it just might be the break that you have been looking for. Take that first step and stub out that cigarette, for thirty days is a long enough period for withdrawal symptoms, (if any) to completely go away.
|Matrah Souq, a perennial favorite|
Sometimes I think about why sleep is at the bottom of our priority list. A day has twenty four hours, and each of those hours can be used in many ways, for instance, study/work/leisure. Yet what we tend to do, more often than not is to extend those waking hours to way more than what can be 'naturally managed'. For a while we might like to believe that sleep will just come to us, it really doesn’t work that way.
The reality of things today is that if we are not watching TV, then we can always remain online, and of course, all our friends worldwide live in different time zones, so it seems to make complete sense. And so it goes on, day after day, month after month, year after year while we continue to get more and more sleep deprived, or then as someone recently said, 'leaner and meaner' (in sleep terms).
Yet, there is always a breaking point, and one which might come later rather than sooner, but it certainly will. Let's just pray that we are in a position to do some course correction before it is too late.
Here are some of my random musings:
What if everyone could live to be a hundred years old? Would the ageing process then be at the same rate, or would we see some startling differences in the way that things unfold?
· What if everyone (particularly all 40-plus women) were thin? What if they could eat all they liked, and still stay that way?
· What if everyone actually loved animals and took care of them the way they really ought to?
· What if the roads didn't develop huge bumps during, and, well, after the monsoons?
· What if babies never woke up parents, or ever cried at night?
· What if people stopped using plastic bags, and that too, for good?
What if AIDS could be cured, as also so many, many other irreversible diseases?
Take a moment, pause and think over one or all of these, and I’m sure you’d agree with me – wouldn't the world be such a different place?