Tag Archive | desert

ROLLA : A SHADE THAT LINGERS


A tree that has travelled across the Arabian ocean from India as a small sapling.

A tree that has grown in a desert and lived more than 150 years.

A tree which is remembered until now by the older generation of a country.

A tree that has given shade to generations before its fall.

A tree that has inspired a statue in its honor .

It was a Banyan tree at Rolla Square, Sharjah. And Banyan is called Rolla locally.

In fact, a search for the meaning of Rolla has landed me to some information given here (you come across this word quite often in U.A.E as a street or square).

Rolla square in Sharjah is a famous locality where a unique memorial of a Rolla tree is built to honor the first Rolla/Banyan tree travelled from India to Uae in 1800’s and grown and served its purpose here in Sharjah until 1978 till its fall. The place it stood for years was called by its name and slowly became the heart of a desert city which spread to larger size over years.  Now Rolla square is the first thing to be mentioned when you talk about Sharjah. And that all started from a tree! Of course a tree is the greatest asset to a desert and that could be the reason a lone tree was admired this much and grown into a legend, and even inspired a statue in its memory.

See how a 65 year old local man gives its account, to the Daily “National”;

Ali al Shamsi, 65, stood recently before the statue of a tree – an unusual sight anywhere in the world, let alone the Arabian Peninsula, as he tried to explain how it came to be there.

“Here stood the biggest and greatest tree of the UAE,” Mr. al Shamsi said.

He grew up in the Rolla neighborhood, long before it transformed into Al Ghuwair market area. There used to be a single school, a few traditional homes, a store or two and a continuous flow of nomads and caravans who sought shelter from the beating sun.

“It was a common sight to see travelling families stopping by here to rest under the Rolla tree,” he said.

Every day after school, Mr. al Shamsi and his classmates would meet at the “special spot” before they headed home. “The tree was huge,” he said. “There were swings on its branches, which we all fought over, and we would climb it and have fun, and see the world from its top.

“All of us, including the animals, like cats and camels, would sit under it and enjoy its shade.”

(Courtesy: “The National”)

From these words, it is evident what this tree meant for them. A magic tree in the middle of a desert. And us, who cuts down many a tree all over this world on everyday basis, should look back to the legend of this tree and its memory lingering here at Rolla Square, to understand how dependant are we to nature and how we kills it.

Advertisements

SWEATING OUT CANDLE LIGHT DINNERS


Candle light dinners are usually considered as romantic.

Once a while you may feel it heavenly and turn off the lights.

How about one at Sharjah now? Sharjah residents are now having such dinner’s everyday in their life. But if you need to sweat out through the dinner will it be romantic?

Reason to sweat out is the power outages. And leave the dinner, how it will be to sweat out all the day and the days to come in a desert city?

Ask the Sharjah residents about it. I have experienced few days of that sort in last year August and this year May. Problems seemed to have been resolved until 1st of Jul 2010 when I was leaving for my vacation to India, and people were relieved and optimistic. But now I am receiving fresh reports of power outages in Sharjah, even in the international media as well as in person update from my dad who is in Sharjah now and scheduled to join us in India next month. He has sent me few links and a photo of himself sleeping in the car at night, keeping the AC on.

http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-9020-sharjah-blackout-worker-dies-as-power-cut-endures/

http://gulfnews.com/pictures/news/latest-round-of-sharjah-power-cuts-1.656711

http://thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100722/NATIONAL/707219806/1138

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/July/theuae_July516.xml&section=theuae

http://www.7days.ae/storydetails.php?id=82677&page=local%20news&title=Power%20cuts%20in%20Sharjah%20-%20why%20no%20information

And finally, power returns to most of the areas in Sharjah.
Gulf news report :http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/general/as-power-returns-residents-cross-their-fingers-1.658183

I hope and pray that,these days never return to Sharjah.

OF LUCKY AND NOT BEING LUCKY


On a July morning, the twins Mia and Ria were playing with their friends when they heard a small whine. They looked back to see a small puppy. By the sound of his whine, it was understood that he was lost. They searched around for its mother. After a long search when they didn’t find the puppy’s mother, they took it to the police station. After few days, they were doing errands for their mother when they saw a puppy coming out of the police station. They recognized it as the puppy they had rescued. They went inside carrying the puppy in their hands and asked the officer on duty whether they could take it. The officer whose name was Colin discussed their request with the other officers. After a while …they agreed as no one had yet come asking for him. So after finishing all the errands they ran back home with the puppy. They thought and thought for a nice name to give the puppy at last when they could not find a nice name the twins asked their mother what they should name it. Their mother thought for a while and then she said ‘Lucky’ as they were lucky to get a pet and Lucky was lucky to have someone take care of him.

. . . . . . .

Living in a desert city, you may not find many birds or animals around you as natural as you find back home. The most you find here are stray cats around the garbage bins placed everywhere.

Occasionally a pet dog being walked by its owner, a few pigeons or sparrows on your window sills are the glimpses of animal life around you here. To see the native camel, you need to travel to the deserts outside the city limits.

But there are many shops selling pet animals here who are even importing dangerous and unusual pets such as Lions, Tigers, Baboons or even Pythons. Recently a python found on a road in Sharjah had created some panic to the passer-bys. Illegal trade of near extinct animals is reported many a times in media.

I do wonder what makes them happy to keep such animals as pets.

Pets could be either dogs or cats who love their masters back but not the wild animals that have no such love towards the masters. Even caging the harmless birds as pets could be wrong as no bird loves to be a captive.

Why do we enjoy seeing another living being in captivity?

Let them be lucky to live in their natural habitat.

(picture courtesy : http://www.kentuckyanimals.org)