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  • Writer's picture rohini jadhav

desert stories

Ever heard someone say, live life to the fullest... Life is too short to hold grudges and be miserable... Every moment is special, enjoy it...? So easy to say and yet so very hard to actually follow it!

We lead our lives racing against time, earning now so we can live comfortable later, working now so we can enjoy later. But who is to decide when that later is now? When do we stop running from place to place, task to task and take a minute to smile, to laugh, to wonder?

Three people I met while sight-seeing in Jordan had such vastly different perspectives on life, on humanity and they led their lives practicing what they believed in.

Ali, a Bedouin by origin, now working at Feynan Ecolodge has a very interesting mix of modern outlook and traditional values. When asked if he would marry multiple times as is allowed by Muslim law, he said he felt one wife whom he loved with all his heart was all one needed. He felt it would be injustice to the lady if he were to marry again.

And yet when asked about his dreams and aspirations and plans for the future, he had a simple answer - "This world is a difficult place to be, who knows what will happen tomorrow, if there will even be a tomorrow. I live each day as it comes and am grateful for my wife and child."

Even in this day and age, he preferred his large, joint family and feels happy to be a major contributor income wise. He has come a long way from being a happy go lucky Bedouin child to a manager at Feynan Ecolodge.

Nayel, another Bedouin also believes in living each moment as it comes, having no regrets and bears no hopes for tomorrow. He takes people for a desert safari on the sands he knows so well, treats them hospitably at his father's camp and enjoys his spare time with his buddies and music. A simple yet happy life!

Ask him if he wants to see the world, travel out of the deserts and pat comes his reply, "I see more of the world than you do. Only I see it through others’ eyes. In other words, he talks to people from all over the world who come to the camp and learns from them about their travels, their homes, the picturesque places, the various foods, the diverse people and cultures.

And perhaps the most unique person I encountered on this journey was a German lady, who now teaches and lives in Palestine. A brave soul, she's chosen a difficult life forging for herself alone in a foreign country, leaving behind friends and family, because she believes in the people and their struggles and wants to help them and be a part of it even in the smallest of ways.

Over the years, she has become somewhat a loner and spends her vacations at different destinations, her recent favorite being Wadi Rum in Jordan. But she's unperturbed by this fact and sees it as an opportunity to meet new people, see new places, discover new stories. It scares one a little to think of being away from home securities and materialistic comforts but her story inspires you to believe in yourself, take a few risks and do what you believe in!

As I lay on my mat on the sand dune, under the twinkling stars, I pondered deeply on the things that mattered, the people that cared, the feelings that lasted and the moments we cherish. And a little voice in my head vowed to take a few risks, to laugh a lot more and to live and love with all my heart and soul.

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