As I walk along the crowded streets of Male, I am bewildered by the pace of change in our society. The motorcycles and other vehicles throng our streets and shops laden with all kinds of goods invite excited shoppers and tall buildings sprout like mushrooms after the rain. Similarly, the pedestrian traffic too along our uneven foot-narrow pavements meander like the river that never was. And yes, even those stepping onto the reverent floors of our mosques during the day increase in drones even though some say that much of that increase may be attributable to our guest workers.
However, my early morning strolls along our then deserted streets indicate a trend of paucity of our locals' spiritual leaning. I gather this from the chatter of the passers-by indicating to me that even in this blessed hour, the voices seem foreign with only the few slouching elders who amble along perhaps after their spiritual obligations to be locals. That may not be totally correct though for yet in this early hour I still spy others too -- strong looking Maldivian youth joggers and sleepy eyed or fully awake others making their way to the jetties to board their vessels that would take them to their jobs at the airport, or the resorts, or a day out on picnic. The dwindling congregation to a row or two at most at the Fajr prayers in most mosques too show this depressing faith only too conspicuously -- here too the building guards and the early-rising-to-work foreign guest workers make half the numbers.
Why is this I ask? Is God no more? Is gratefulness not a part of our obligations? Is all the wonder we see in our midst from the mind-boggling phenomenon of our still expanding universe or the intriguing sustenance of our very physical bodies or the myriad plant life that sprout and die and live again around us all a quirk of a cosmic accident with no universal orchestrator? I wonder why this colossal harmony that exists in the universe not replicable in even our miniscule man-made organizations in this home planet of ours don't ring a bell in our minds. Perhaps ours are just too occupied by the glitter of the world. The universal mind watches and allows us to the leeway of choice. But sadly few realize the profoundness of such choice and seem drowned of the consequences of our action.
Yes, the laden shops, the oversized cars and glitzy bikes that take us nowhere but into our vanity tell the story of this drowning. We can only become aware human beings when we can begin to understand the working of our inside. However when the present trend is all the focus on our outside, the hope of such salvation for our soul seems bleak. Can we get out of this dream from which we will inevitably be awoken in-time? But when that time happens we will have no time left for choice.