Dubai witnessed one of the craziest cash runs into it’s economy. Most of it went into real estate. Outlay out-dreamed demand. Reality mattered little when it came to realty. Desert, a place with nothing but land of sand with oil beneath and a 360 degree horizon, was being transformed into a Manhattan or Shanghai. In the past a large water body attracted settlements in deserts. Now it’s structures of steel, concrete and glimmering glass facades. Even desert land was shamed by this appetite. Sea was claimed, tamed and landscaped. “If you build it, he will come” was the premise of the Hollywood film Field of Dreams. An Iowa farmer hears voices instructing to build a baseball field in his farm to invite ghosts of legends past to play. The film ends happily for it can choose to end where it wants. Dubai has to endure the 2008 credit market crash.
If you build it, they will come.
Mumbai beaches are a repugnant sight after high tide. The receding sea litters the beach with another sea of rubbish. The waves of cash crashing into the Dubai economy has left behind a similar metaphorical litter on it’s exit trail. The facade is still pretty but the skeletons of unfinished and forgotten highrises will perhaps be preserved for ages as monuments to our era of excesses. History had Pharaohs and their pyramids, we have our politician-financier nexus and their highrises.
All the diplomatic language like confidence building measures and ministerial talks, foreign secretarial talks as well as awkard meetings at international conferences between our two leaders at the helm of affairs were shown the door under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif. They appealed to their respective public’s primal instincts of hope and faith. Even the years of systematic fermenting of mutual distrust between the public on either sides by their respective ruling classes was easily eclipsed by the euphoria caused by this ray of hope.
Former foreign secretary of UK, David Miliband calls the current Prime Minister of UK David Cameron “a cuttlefish squirting ink”. This retort was in response to David Cameron’s boldly blunt statement during his week long India visit that Pakistan is exporting terrorism.
Among the many accomplishments of modern day Israel listed in a newspaper report that I happened to glance recently, it’s envied-by-most position at the forefront of flight security was among the first as well as one of the most elucidated. I had just finished reading “Night” by Elie Wiesler then – an English translation of the Nobel prize winning author’s most celebrated work, originally written in Yiddish.
Night by Elie Wiesel
The passage through hell that Israel endured resulting in it’s conception was very honestly and palpably captured by the author and revealed to us through his eyes as a mere 16 year old, still seeking constant shelter of his father. The present day irony that Germany is not the cause for Israel’s massive insecurity was suddenly and acutely made aware to me. It’s more historical foes battling an altogether different ideology (organized religion and land) are giving it sleepless nights. Arabs, and Islam in general.