It has been eleven months since I have landed in Kuwait… and I have survived. Doesn’t sound like much of an achievement, does it? I know it doesn’t, but to me it is. From the hustle and bustle, the happening life of Mumbai to a much laid back lifestyle in Kuwait, it has been a herculean task to adjust…And no… I am yet to find that much needed equilibrium.
For an outsider, it would seem to be a joke if I say that life in Kuwait is not fun. What lacks? Don’t we have everything here… loads of dispensable money, everything money can buy and more. Hmmm… yeah, we have all that here… but yet, I miss the pulse of life here. The excitement that is there even in the mundane when I am in Mumbai… that heartbeat of a city which keeps it alive is missing here. You find a tiny bit of that in Kuwait City, but it is no match for what I am accustomed to. But, this ain’t a crib-fest against Kuwait; rather it is the pining of my heart for my home, my Mumbai! It just happens that when anyone points out one awesome thing after the other in this beautiful desert-land; in my mind I can picture something better in Mumbai… always!
There was a time when people used to flock to the ‘Gulf’ – the term given to the Middle East, in search of its vast non-taxable riches. But now, the Gulf is in the midst of an economic slowdown…we all saw Dubai lose some of its lustre. Kuwait has never been in your face or over the top or flashy, but it still is one of the richest countries in the area and well, in the world too… somewhere in the top Ten! But, the fact that it is has more sober and subtle roots maybe the reason that it does not appeal to the young crowd or the Generation Next as we call ourselves. The religion and culture in Kuwait though not as strict as in its neighbour are still far from forgiving.
Today, in spite of the pull of money and the promise of a luxurious future I still find it extremely difficult to curb the urge to return to India, to the city of my dreams, Mumbai! And, the argument against all those who tell me that I am throwing away a bright future is that money to me is a well-balanced income which I would easily get in Mumbai and luxury to me is being in the city I love, the city of my birth and being close to my loved ones. I cannot think of a better future than settling down in the concrete jungle of Mumbai in a 3-BHK flat overlooking the at times rowdy, at times serene sea… with the music of the never sleeping city buzzing in my ears.
© Surya Murali