You did it Dubai.
I had earlier described the awful discriminatory laws of Dubai and expressed extreme disapproval of this place. Today, I will tell you otherwise.
It was half an hour before sunset on a fine August afternoon (6 months after living in Dubai). I was browsing a menu in one of the outdoor restaurants that surrounds Dubai Mall. Let me describe to you the ambiance: The scorching sun was soothing down as it hid behind the sky scrapers. Men, women and children, dressed in their sparkling white thobes, jeans, and super-fashionable abayas, walked past us in their slow, broad shouldered, “proud-to-be-who-I-am” attitude, while radiating their head-turning arabic scents into the moisture-filled air. Across from the majestic Dubai Mall stood the Dubai Fountain- a record-setting choreographed fountain system that is set on a 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake. The fountain is animated with performances set to light and music. It is impressive, but I was never too impressed with their choice of music.
Now, let me tell you something: I am most impressed when someone or something is not trying to impress me. It was my hundredth time watching the Fountain Dance–there was little scope for anything to impress me. But I think that day the signals matched.
6:30 pm. I hear loud music. I turn around and the Dubai Fountain is doing its first dance for the evening. “It’s not supposed to start it’s dance now”, I thought to myself. The music is familiar- “Dhoom Tana”-an Indian song. Something felt right. Something clicked–something was happening that was making me feel wonderful. It was adding up to be a brilliant moment. I don’t know what it was, but I think in that split moment that I made the decision that “I like Dubai” I wanted to encapsulate that moment in a little bottle and keep it with me. I wanted that moment to present itself to me a thousand times over–that exact moment where the bliss of belonging, and the torment of loss collided. It was brilliant.
A decision that was pending for 6 months-I made it in a split second. I just needed the right moment. Damn Dubai, you took me by surprise. I fell for you! By no means am I expressing complete approval of it. But just like you accept a best friend with their good and bad characteristics, I want to accept Dubai for whatever it is. Also, this place now happens to harbor some of my favorite people on this whole planet.
This was another one of the phenomenal musical/dance performances that caught me by surprise.