Saturday, 10 May 2008

Stepping Stones

It takes atleast 25 minutes to reach office by car . Reason: the 2 traffic signals. Whereas if I walk it up, it takes me only 15 minutes & a mere 11 minutes if I walk fast. Needless to say which mode of transport i prefer......though it gets way too hot in summer.

Around 4 months back, a building which I passed by everyday on my way to work, was demolished and all the debris was carried away, making it a sandy expanse of land. Now atleast 4 minutes of walking could be reduced if I cut across this land to reach the parallel road. The only problem was...... crossing that land was like walking on the beach. Too much sand. If I was wearing shoes it was not that much of a problem & I just had to dust off the sand when I reach the office. But if I wore sandals then sand got between the sole & the sandal, made it difficult to walk, not to mention the feet and footwear very dirty.

Yeah I know. I just had to pretend that the building was not torn down & just walk the usual way. I tried...… but my imagination didn’t stretch that far. The usual way seemed longer than usual. And everybody else seemed to be tramping thru the sand & didn’t have a problem.

Each day I waded through the sand at different points, hoping there will be some parts where the sand will be less and then I could use ‘that’ path. But no such luck. Every path I took had pockets where the feet would sink thorough the sand.

One day while crossing the vast expanse I saw some stones lying around. I picked up 1 stone & carried it to the middle of the sandy expanse and placed it down. I was grinning stupidly to myself but the idea was sown. From the next day onwards I furtively carried 1 stone to the middle & placed it a little further away from the 1 which I placed the previous day. Somedays I couldn’t pick up a stone coz there would be people crossing the area the same time I was, other days I wouldn’t find a stone. One day I found an opened out carton which I dragged to the middle. I was so delighted with my find coz I could take 3 steps on the carton itself. When I came back the next morning the the carton was not there. Disappointed I looked around & found it in the far corner of the area. The wind had blown it away. I berated myself for not placing a stone on it. No, I didn’t go bring back the carton. But I continued with the ‘one stone a day’ practice. Few stones sunk thru the sand and some stones broke into pieces(these were not stone, they were clumps of cemented-something which gave away under pressure).

It’s been more than 4 months now. You’ll think I had time to pave a highway by now but it’s been tougher than that. But I had most of the ‘path’ fixed. Sand still got into my shoes if I was not careful. Another 10 stones would have done the trick but..

This morning I found a wall staring at me. All the sides of that vacant land had been blocked by large boards ……which meant they were going to start construction on the land.

I stood there for a moment and just looked.

Sigh……with a heavy heart I changed directions and trudged towards the curve.

p.s - If any of you didnt understand what I was going on and on about, shown above is a graphical representation. The dots on the sand represent my stepping stones......sighhh.....


  1. Oh Poor you..but thats the irony of life isnt it? anyways 15 mins is not that long, maybe you can carry an umbrella.

    Btw nice sketch :P

  2. Yeah thts life:-<. And i do carry an umbrella. Cant do without one at this time of the year.
    The sketch was a last minute thought, just in case anybody didnt undertsand what I was rambling about:-)

  3. oops ,i was just thinking about the same,coz they dont wait for too long to start construction .all in all a good try :)

    I didnt know that even in dubai u go traffic jams :).I am sure it gets really hot in summer.Dont u get dust storms there,i never beent to dubai ,hence curious :)


  4. SS: Dubai is famous for its TALLEST buildings, LONGEST tunnels, BIGGEST MAN-MADE Islands and the WORST traffic jams. The TJ's here make the 1's in India look like just a minor snag. Here TJ means vehicles move only 3 feet in 10 mins. I have taken 45 mins to reach home from my office in a cab during peak hour(and i have already mentioned, it takes only 15 mins by walk).

    Yeah v get 3-4 Dust storms in a year. The whole place goes gloomy like as if a fog has come down. Actually it will be trillions of dust particles swirling in the air:-). It usually clears up by the next morning. It is a strange sight to see.

  5. And dont talk about hot. I can write 3 posts about THE HEAT without taxing my brain too much. Its a desert after all.

  6. :) i cud feel the exasperation in ur post as i read it.
    and also, quite a brave attempt to put all those stones.. but i think i wud do the same, the traffic is far worse than the sand getting into ur shoes.
    and are u saying now that the area's closed, u take that long route?

  7. also read ur comment on the dust storm.. even i havent seena dust storm as yet :P

  8. Lucky you managed even so many days before they started construction.. the way they are going on here! Don't worry...30 mins walk every day is VERY healthy! Just take an umbrella!

  9. ISH: Yes I am back on the looong route:-(.
    There was a mild duststorm 3 weeks back. How did u miss that:-)?

    WW: Yes the route was a lucky breakthru. All my coworkers look at me & sympathise "oh Nancy ur route is blocked" & then look at eachother & wink:-P
    Yeah i'm already carrying an umbrella..I have to, coz the heat is 2much...already:-(

  10. ouch... n maybe you should be looking at a career in cartography :P

  11. g-man: Not a bad idea.....hmmm

  12. The very thought of you carrying stones and strategically placing them was just too much. In office attire and all. Nice try, though. But poor you, your happiness was short lived. If I were u, I would have worn sport shoes and carried a regular pair along with me. BTW, can u wear jeans to office?

  13. Bins: :-D siblings think alike huh....ur brother suggested exactly the same thing. Wearing sport shoes with formals was ok but with salwars I feel sidey:-p
    Casuals are worn on thursdays tho I do wear them other days when my formals r not ironed:-P


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