Don’t Chase Mirage

Well before I start, I would write something about a man. Two days ago, I came back to town around 11pm. My husband picked me up, and before going home, he mentioned we had to buy milk. We went to the only 24/7 mart near our place. While walking down the aisle of children’s section, I saw a man in late forties (or perhaps life treated him so harshly that he looked older than his age), who was still in uniform, looking at small girlish hairpins. He had a slight smile until he saw the tag, he slowly placed them back and walked away.
Now before I am asked (or judged) why I didn’t buy him those pins, well I have been on that road too. Had anyone approached me then to help me, my self-respect would have been shattered.
That man would have bought something to send back home. The most demanded items like tea, dates, dry fruit, silk, cosmetics, perfumes and chocolates are taken back home by almost every expat. But are these expats wealthy? Are these expats earning more easily than people in their countries? No. Now the people will quickly type here, ‘so who asked you to go there?’ Well, settling in some place doesn’t mean being unfaithful to one’s country. We have an equal amount of struggle when it comes to earning money, be it any country. But assuming that people who live in Dubai, USA, UK or anywhere can ‘easily’ afford or fulfill your wishes, is wrong. Envying them from their social media photos is utterly wrong.
Social Media is a mirage. When I post a photo of a concert, I don’t mention in the caption that I attended it for FREE because I volunteered there. When I post the photo of La Perle, I don’t write there that my spouse waited for a year to take me there. When I post a photo of my beautiful Persian cat, I don’t write that it took me 10 years to convince my spouse that keeping a pet doesn’t unclean the house. When I post the photo of skydiving, I don’t tell about the moneybox I broke to pay for it. When I post the photo of lavish coffee, I don’t say how my friend and I split the bill using a calculator.
I know I am wrong. I know I should be low-key, but I post. I post, and when people question me how can they have a life like mine, I say ‘work hard’. So I post to inspire not to envy.
A few days back, I found on my twitter a girl saying, ‘my cousins in America are so miser that they don’t even get me an iPhone.” Well, iPhone isn’t even my one-month’s salary. I wonder am I judged for being a miser too?
Life changes slowly and gradually. We often go to the places where we started from. Yesterday, I visited the first apartment where I lived when I first came to Dubai. I remember eating one buck of a McDonald ice-cream was a luxury. I remember our only entertainment was to walk around the streets at night and talk. Things have changed, but not in one night. Alhamdullilah now even if I am looking for a job these days, I still have money to eat an ice-cream. 😉
Nothing comes for free. Trust me. If your father, uncle or brother lives abroad, be considerate because they would do anything to get what you asked for. They would never tell you they skipped their meals to buy you an iPhone.
Build your own life. Don’t hate people because they have something that you don’t have. You might never know they would be praying for something that you have.
Much Love,
Huma Adnan, the mountain girl.
(They call me mountain girl here, and I love it)

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