In the end, it is all about being at the right place at the right time. But what happened to me on the 10th edition of National Sport Day in Qatar goes far beyond the lucid boundaries of expectations.
It was really a very beautiful and pleasant day and I was on my customary walk in the very beautiful Al Bidda Park. Since the beginning of Covid-19 over a year ago, I have actually come a long way as far as my physical health and well-being is concerned. My routine hour-long walks in this serene park have played a major role in my transformation. And I have been religiously committed and genuinely sincere in my efforts.
So my joy knew no bounds, when I had a chance encounter with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who is not only the Sovereign Head of the State of Qatar, but also the embodied spirit of, and the inspiration behind, this wonderful National Sport Day initiative. And His Highness the Amir was there, with his beautiful family, continuing to inspire all of us to take our health and fitness seriously.
The 15-second conversation that His Highness had with me is etched so beautifully in my mind and my heart forever. The genuine warmth, care and simplicity with which he inquired about my family, my job, my well-being is the reason why we ordinary residents and citizens of this beautiful country love him so much.
Now that the magic of that event is slowly wearing off and my family, friends and colleagues are starting to treat me as the normal person that I was before the chance encounter, I am actually starting to comprehend the event’s true implication and its impact on my life. By stirring up my consciousness a little and re-viewing it from my quiet mind’s eye, the event is continuing to unfold even now at so many levels. It is moving away from merely the physical to metaphysical and almost definitely to a spiritual level.
Those of us who visit the park frequently, very well know that the bridge on which I met with His Highness connects the two large sections of the park. And thinking about this metaphysically, for me, the bridge symbolizes sports and fitness, and provides the connection as well as the balance between two very important aspects of our lives i.e. our work-life balance. We absolutely need a healthy mind in a healthy body to take on our work-related challenges as well as to achieve excellence in everything else that we may choose to do in our lives.
Continuing to savour the event and moving along the contemplative spectrum from gross to subtle, I look at the above photograph and ask myself, is there anything else in it that is speaking to me and that can carry me to the other side? And the cosmic whisper I hear is, yes there is. That little blue coloured plastic can that I am holding in my hands as I speak with His Highness the Amir.
A while ago, I realised that since there are no residences attached with the park, there are not many trash bins around. And these bins are usually the only source of food for our feline friends. I was touched by other kind-hearted visitors to the park and joined in to play a small part. Whenever I can remind myself before my walks, I try and carry some cat food in that blue can and feed a few stray cats while mother nature caresses and heals my body from the inside. This innocent and honest act has taught me that every creature on this beautiful planet co-habits with us humans and the feelings of empathy and compassion towards each other are very vital if we are to maintain its sanctity and beauty.
So, Your Highness, thanks once again for lending your presence on this metaphorical stage and inspiring me and millions of others not only to take care of our health, balance our work-life, but most importantly, to identify and carry our own little “blue cans” around and make this planet and our lives ever so beautiful.
God bless His Highness. God Bless Qatar.
*The writer is a resident of Qatar