the fatwaif diaries

the workings of a wandering mind

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

the land of cranes and construction sites

i can't help but imagine sand-weary nomads from another time stumbling upon this city of gold and rubbing their eyes in disbelief. because after three days of seeing, touching, feeling, experiencing dubai, i feel a niggling suspicion that it is a mirage. the monuments to excess, towering and solid in concrete and glass, are bigger and better and shinier than anywhere else. and you have to hand it to them, the tribals and the migrants who've eked out a place in nowhere.
we're in merdif, an upcoming housing locality that's transforming overnight. first there were islands of sand-coloured houses, now they're connected with straight roads and cross roads and right angles. the armies of cranes populate every horizon. they are here to stay. estimates of the number of cranes in the city of dubai cross 4000!
for someone from india, the silence is novel and deafening. novel especially because there's a football sized construction site next door with a contingent of mechanical birds at work and airplanes are constantly whizzing overhead to or from the airport close by. deafening because none of this get's in, and within sound proof walls, you can almost hear yourself think.