Friday, December 26, 2008

Walking The Souq…


Doha’s Souq Waqif is a five-minute walk away from where I live. Yet, it took me close to three years to cover the distance. And when I did, a slice of Qatar’s history unfurled before my very eyes...

It was like going starting at the beginning of time, to the time when Qatar was still very much an idea, in the corner of a thousand minds. It was like turning the pages of the book of history, swiftly from left to right, in breathtaking seconds of sudden realisations...

Mud brown brick buildings rose to kiss the sky, along the two sides of the stone-sown path. Well rounded pieces of teakwood played intricate games of hide and seek with the mud and brick structures. Candle lights, thinly veiled by multi-coloured glasses, painted the evening with different hues of faint colour.

The sky blushed a deep red of evening, reflecting off coloured sheesha glasses. Sweet scents of peaches and myrrh gathered form as wispy plumes of faint white smoke, rising and dissolving into the cold wintry evening. A thousand sandaled feet made rhythmic music on the stone paths, even as a hundred tongues spoke a multitude of languages, selling wares, dreams and more…

Cheeks touched cheeks and noses, noses, in the familiar routine of Middle Eastern familiarity. The faint aura of universal brotherhood hung in the Souq’s air…

When I woke from my trance, I found myself sitting amidst history, watching tradition blend seamlessly with modernity. People smoked scented hookahs, turned their heads, and surfed the World Wide Web. They sipped strong black teas, brewed together with centuries of knowledge, and conquered the distance barrier by speaking into their mobile phones…

How long does it take for a person to cover 300 metres? For me, it was almost three years. But if that was the price I had to pay for getting my first romantic feel of Doha’s Souq Waqif, I consider it as time and money well spent…

5 comments:

Nachi said...

Happy New Year brother!

has been a while since i dropped a word by. but here i am, yet again!

:)

jake m said...

the pic looks nice. i want to walk around.

Mona said...

The pic is amazing, but I like the descriptions even more...

Amazing piece of art!

mosilager said...

The more things change... the more they stay the same, it's nice to find a place where they've stayed the same. Good to see people having fun.

aarshi said...

lovely little description of discovery and sense of belonging :)