Beauty in Chaos

Where am I Issue 209 Apr, 2019

Beauty in chaos. A place where the shrieks of children playing are masked by thunderous revs of vehicles snaking, avoiding obstacles as they move towards their destination. Couples cuddling, friends giggling and laughing among themselves, street peddlers howling fills the already chaotic scenery. Yet there is tranquility. I sit here wondering and appreciating people from different walks of life, thinking to myself how they manage to navigate their life in such chaos. I become filled with pride seeing them and compare myself to them, because I am also one of those people who have become accustomed to the disorder.

As time passes by, the mellow midday heat of spring dwindles down, and surprisingly, more people show up. The already chaotic place becomes even more so. A communal kuwa (well) located right beside where I was sitting was filled with women and men bathing, doing laundry, and street dogs coming to sip water. Not caring about anything that is happening around, children are seen running around the kuwa, chasing their friends, diving into small puddles of water. As I sip a semi-warm cup of tea, a group of kids flock together and start playing a game of football. Imagine a game that is supposed to be played in an open field being played in a jam-packed place. Mesmerizing to see how people have adapted to what they have.

While I was enjoying an impromptu football match, my ears turned towards old men yelling and laughing. I turned my head around, and a couple of feet away from me, there was a small circle of old men huddled together with their heads down. I get up and march towards the scene to see what the deal was about. I peered over one of their shoulders, and to my surprise, it was a good ol’ fashioned game of chess. Two men concentrating, anticipating, and devising their next move, while others stood by coaching and directing them. I could see the concentration on their faces as they carefully decided their moves. The game ended with a round of applause and a huge jeer as one player made a devastating move that was instantly capitalized on by the other. Immediately, another sat down to face the winner. I moved myself away from the scene and made my way to a small, chic rooftop café.

The temperature was going down, but the hustle and bustle was not. I ordered myself a chilled beer, and on the recommendation of the waiter, ordered a chicken sandwich with homemade pickle and dressing. While I was waiting for my food, I sat there sipping my beer and looking down at the roadside filled with street peddlers, children, vehicles, and animals. The view was hypnotic. Everywhere you looked, your eyes met with a different perspective of the place. Lovers are seen cuddling on the steps of the structure, hiding their faces and stealing a kiss or two, while carefully analyzing their environment. It would be troublesome for them if they are caught by the regular patrolling of police officers. As my food arrived, I heard a foreign language being spoken right below where I was sitting. Peering out the window, I saw 10-15 tourists with cameras, selfie sticks, and masks on their faces, a guide with them explaining everything. As soon as these tourists arrived, they were surrounded by street peddlers and children trying to sell them arts and crafts. After exploring the area, the guide instructed them to make a single file, and they disappeared into the crowd.

By the time the sun went down, there was still commotion in the area. I finished my sandwich, gulped down the remainder of my drink, and signaled the waiter for my check. I paid my dues, made my way out of the café, and started walking towards the parking area. I walked the narrow pavements, dodging the dashes of oncoming traffic, and navigated my way out of the chaos. I finally understood the meaning of “beauty in chaos.” We should not let chaos define our existence. We need to overcome it and incorporate it to our everyday life. Learn to find beauty in everything. Even in chaos.