Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wandering in the Wadi

Last Friday was an epiphany of sorts for me. Friday, being the weekend in this part of the world, is usually reserved for a relaxing day at home. But last week, I persuaded my parents to take a trip to a wadi, nestled in the Hajjar mountain ranges, tucked away in the eastern Emirates. Wadi is an Arabic term for a valley, and this particular wadi (locally known as Wadi Wurayah) is supposed to be popular among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts.

So off we went to the wadi. I was amazed at how the roads were actually cut into the mountains, as easily as a knife sinks its way into a cake; it made me marvel at how mankind has actually altered landscapes to suit our own progress. After a steep ascent, we reached an area from where, the vast valley stretched out below. The valley, much like the sky, seemed endless, and the view was gorgeous, to say the least.

A little bit of exploring told us that a waterfall was located just below. We wanted to climb down the mountain, but were woefully ill equipped for what seemed like a treacherous climb. As a child, I had gone rock climbing and I was looking forward to doing it again, a mixture of nervousness and excitement filling my being, and then I realized that both my parents and I were not wearing the right kind of shoes. So the only way to get down the valley and to the waterfall would be to drive back and trek across a pebble path.

Plodding along the Pebble Path was great fun. The mountains, flanking the path on either side, were occasionally interrupted by a burst of green- mountain plants adding colour to the sandy brown of the landscape. In certain areas, the red sandstone on the mountains glistened in the sunlight and it was truly a feast for the eyes. The pebble path meandered on, snaking its way into the depths of this oft unknown corner of the country. Appa, the geography expert, told me it was possible that this area was once a riverbed, now all shriveled up and dry as dust.

After a half hour trek along the path, we finally reached the waterfall. After the majestic, awe inspiring view of the valley, this waterfall was something of an anti climax, especially if you've walked so long, and have been expecting something in the league of Monkey Falls or Kutraalam. So, we were a trifle disappointed to see a tiny waterfall, and even more annoyed at the garbage strewn around by careless tourists. Just when I was thinking 'What! I trekked all the way here to see just this!', the beauty of the entire landscape struck me, like a blow. Imagine mountains and valleys and the miracle of this tiny waterfall in a vast desert land! My mind wandered to bygone eras, and I thought about the meandering pebble path, once a roaring river. As these thoughts tumbled in my head, it began to darken and the first stars of the night peeped out of the velvet sky. I became aware of the perfection with which the Almighty created this cosmos.

As we trekked back, the pebbles on the path began to annoy me and I found myself grumbling about it. I began to think only of the pebbles and forgot the wonders of the wadi. Here comes the epiphany I was talking about in the beginning- how often do we focus on the pebbles of life, rather than the picturesque peaks around; how often do we look at 'scars' rather than 'stars'! We let small things frustrate and annoy us. At some point in time, we focus only on the problem, forgetting all the blessings hitherto bestowed on us. Wandering in the wadi reminded me to enjoy the sunshine and the breeze, appreciate the wonders of nature, and most important of all, be thankful, simply for the joy of being able to witness another dimension of the cosmos. Gratitude is indeed a wonderful feeling! 'Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow'.

5 comments:

  1. Full points to you for not sitting on your hind and wasting the weekend. That's what counts the most.

    Nice thought of taking the positives out of the situation. The last line is precisely what adventures are made up of, keep up with it and you should see some results pretty soon.

    Cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome revelation. Indeed, we do focus on the small pebbles of life and not the larger beauties that surround us. I never knew there are waterfalls in the middle east. Nice to know you discovered one. Good post, Sruthi!

    ReplyDelete
  3. pebbles and peaks and our problems and good times, you have out together the point brilliantly :) :)
    By the way I live in Sharjah and its good to see bloggers from the around the place you live :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Atrocious, I had to literally push my parents out of the house for this adventure. But in the end, they were glad they gave in to my persistence :)

    @Sumitra, thank you so much! There are so many places out here hitherto undiscovered- it's like digging treasures in a parched dry land.

    @Purvi, welcome to my blog! :D Wow, you're in Sharjah!! I studied there and was based there till about a couple of years ago- Hope to see you more out here :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice analogy about pebbles. Very good post too. If I ever come back, I will want to go to Wadi :D

    ReplyDelete

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wandering in the Wadi

Last Friday was an epiphany of sorts for me. Friday, being the weekend in this part of the world, is usually reserved for a relaxing day at home. But last week, I persuaded my parents to take a trip to a wadi, nestled in the Hajjar mountain ranges, tucked away in the eastern Emirates. Wadi is an Arabic term for a valley, and this particular wadi (locally known as Wadi Wurayah) is supposed to be popular among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts.

So off we went to the wadi. I was amazed at how the roads were actually cut into the mountains, as easily as a knife sinks its way into a cake; it made me marvel at how mankind has actually altered landscapes to suit our own progress. After a steep ascent, we reached an area from where, the vast valley stretched out below. The valley, much like the sky, seemed endless, and the view was gorgeous, to say the least.

A little bit of exploring told us that a waterfall was located just below. We wanted to climb down the mountain, but were woefully ill equipped for what seemed like a treacherous climb. As a child, I had gone rock climbing and I was looking forward to doing it again, a mixture of nervousness and excitement filling my being, and then I realized that both my parents and I were not wearing the right kind of shoes. So the only way to get down the valley and to the waterfall would be to drive back and trek across a pebble path.

Plodding along the Pebble Path was great fun. The mountains, flanking the path on either side, were occasionally interrupted by a burst of green- mountain plants adding colour to the sandy brown of the landscape. In certain areas, the red sandstone on the mountains glistened in the sunlight and it was truly a feast for the eyes. The pebble path meandered on, snaking its way into the depths of this oft unknown corner of the country. Appa, the geography expert, told me it was possible that this area was once a riverbed, now all shriveled up and dry as dust.

After a half hour trek along the path, we finally reached the waterfall. After the majestic, awe inspiring view of the valley, this waterfall was something of an anti climax, especially if you've walked so long, and have been expecting something in the league of Monkey Falls or Kutraalam. So, we were a trifle disappointed to see a tiny waterfall, and even more annoyed at the garbage strewn around by careless tourists. Just when I was thinking 'What! I trekked all the way here to see just this!', the beauty of the entire landscape struck me, like a blow. Imagine mountains and valleys and the miracle of this tiny waterfall in a vast desert land! My mind wandered to bygone eras, and I thought about the meandering pebble path, once a roaring river. As these thoughts tumbled in my head, it began to darken and the first stars of the night peeped out of the velvet sky. I became aware of the perfection with which the Almighty created this cosmos.

As we trekked back, the pebbles on the path began to annoy me and I found myself grumbling about it. I began to think only of the pebbles and forgot the wonders of the wadi. Here comes the epiphany I was talking about in the beginning- how often do we focus on the pebbles of life, rather than the picturesque peaks around; how often do we look at 'scars' rather than 'stars'! We let small things frustrate and annoy us. At some point in time, we focus only on the problem, forgetting all the blessings hitherto bestowed on us. Wandering in the wadi reminded me to enjoy the sunshine and the breeze, appreciate the wonders of nature, and most important of all, be thankful, simply for the joy of being able to witness another dimension of the cosmos. Gratitude is indeed a wonderful feeling! 'Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow'.

5 comments:

  1. Full points to you for not sitting on your hind and wasting the weekend. That's what counts the most.

    Nice thought of taking the positives out of the situation. The last line is precisely what adventures are made up of, keep up with it and you should see some results pretty soon.

    Cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome revelation. Indeed, we do focus on the small pebbles of life and not the larger beauties that surround us. I never knew there are waterfalls in the middle east. Nice to know you discovered one. Good post, Sruthi!

    ReplyDelete
  3. pebbles and peaks and our problems and good times, you have out together the point brilliantly :) :)
    By the way I live in Sharjah and its good to see bloggers from the around the place you live :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Atrocious, I had to literally push my parents out of the house for this adventure. But in the end, they were glad they gave in to my persistence :)

    @Sumitra, thank you so much! There are so many places out here hitherto undiscovered- it's like digging treasures in a parched dry land.

    @Purvi, welcome to my blog! :D Wow, you're in Sharjah!! I studied there and was based there till about a couple of years ago- Hope to see you more out here :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice analogy about pebbles. Very good post too. If I ever come back, I will want to go to Wadi :D

    ReplyDelete