April 18, 2021 | man proposes, God Disposes – Really?

In June 2014, I had gone to Dubai on a logistics related business trip with a customer in Aviation industry in connection with then partially opened 2nd airport in Dubai, Al Maktoum International Airport, also known as Dubai World Central or DWC (DXB being the primary and 1st airport in Dubai).  While the World Expo was then yet to be held in Milan, Italy in 2015, the announcement that Dubai had won the bid to host World Expo 2020 had been made earlier in November 2013.  It was clear how Dubai’s planning, for the World Expo to be held over 6 years later, was in full steam.  There were billboards everywhere with pictures of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, and of  Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Dubai World Expo 2020.  It seemed that 50% of the cranes in the world were placed in Dubai then with massive construction and amazing infrastructure development including dozens of new hotels, given the anticipated demand for hotel rooms for a massive event like the World Expo. 

Dubai was pulsating and everyone I met during my trip in June 2014 was pumped up about the Dubai World Expo 2020 event.  While admiring the zest, I was taken aback by how Dubai was so fully engulfed in an event yet to occur 6 years later.  I recall a friend of mine, that lives in Dubai, told me that the planning was so thorough and complete that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler and UAE Vice President, had already been in touch with all the cruise lines given the need for the hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms needed for guests expected for the World Expo 2020.  With each mega cruise ship having thousands of rooms, the plan was to have dozens of such mega ships docked alongside Dubai ports come June 2020, essentially providing floating hotel rooms.  Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai had overseen development of numerous projects in Dubai including the creation of a technology park, free economic zone, Dubai Internet City, the Palm Islands (many US and global celebrities own villas there), and Burj Khalifa (tallest structure and building in the world) and so learning about this planning with cruise lines was par for what one would expect from a very modern, forward thinking, trend-setter leader like Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai.

However, as zemblanity would have it, we know now that all those mega or for that matter any cruise ships were certainly docked in June 2020 and for the first time ever since such cruise ships have been built, they did not serve as floating hotels – not for World Expo 2020 nor for anybody else.  One can imagine the billions of dollars and millions of hours of planning that must have been invested for World Expo 2020 – I witnessed that first-hand in June 2014, exactly 6 years before the major event – especially knowing that everything Dubai does, is trendy, splashy and over the top.

Hundreds of millions of children have not been in their classrooms, tens of millions did not get to relish their once in a lifetime graduation walk, millions have lost their lives, or their jobs and livelihood, hundreds of thousands of events like planned weddings had to be cancelled, and the list goes on and on.  Mankind has paid a huge price for not finishing whatever it is that we all undertook, and the mental anguish associated with not being able to support our loved ones when they had to be hospitalized last year for reasons other than the virus.  In last 9 months alone, I have lost 3 siblings of my father – his younger brother last May and his 2 baby sisters so far this year, all in India and none due to contracting the virus.  However each devoid of the presence of family to pay their final respects and provide the moral/emotional support that grieving families need and count on. My cousin brother being the only son and living here in the US was unable to travel to India in Jan 2021 to perform the last rites for his mother, traditionally done by a son in Hindu religion.  My story is no different from anybody else who has experienced similar challenges, and unusual and amazing stories abound like the case of a father that I know living here in US not having reconnected with his wife and not even having met his newborn son born in Australia almost a year ago.

Let’s face it – while we may believe otherwise, we really have no control over anything in life.  Maybe we should soak in the events as they transpire and have the flexibility and openness to experience them as they unfold, and to live in the moment.  Most importantly maintaining a positive outlook as things change around us and finding solace (instead of getting frustrated) knowing that we really have no control and that change in inevitable.  Imagine if we all stayed positive and relished the curve balls that life throws at us, instead of lamenting how bad they are or how we were unable to dodge them.  Imagine if we all simply enjoyed the ride – that of our life’s journey.  As one of my twin daughters says, “dad, life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it”.  Sure there are times we miss deadlines and sure we may upset customers in so doing – but what if we all were more understanding and more gentle – would that not be the kind of world that God envisioned for us.  Remember God is bigger than all our fears, anxieties and insecurities.

So yes, all our thorough plans notwithstanding, I am certain none of us will ever question whether it is He who ultimately makes those plans successful – Dubai’s almost 7-year long planning is testament to that. So yes, Man proposes, and it is nobody other than God that disposes!

Wahe Guru! (in summary, it means “I am grateful to Him”)

Published by Rajan Sobhani

I am Grateful for His Kindness - I truly love and Appreciate Life. I try to be Humble and I Respect our Mother Earth. I thank you for your Time, which we lose daily. Let's be Humble. Let's Give. I Hope this blog serves to Inspire you. Please do let me know how I can do better - I solicit criticism which I view as a form of Empathy!

48 thoughts on “April 18, 2021 | man proposes, God Disposes – Really?

  1. This is a great post-very thought provoking. Curious to think of Dubai, as I had forgotten of all the hub-bub while building that infrastructure. (Indoor ski mountains!) Just one more travesty.
    “Let go, and let God.” Works everytime.

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    1. Yvonne, thanks for sharing that wonderful thought – “let go and let God” – yes, DXB was where the Word Expo 2020 was scheduled – yes they have built indoor ski mountains – so you can only imagine how over the top, Sheikh Mohammed would have showcased his city/country. Nice to hear from you – right here in DFW !

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      1. Rajan you have described the meaning of life Very beautifully. We are just guests on this earth He is the ruler.

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  2. As we get older and get to terms with our own mortality the reality of divinity and its impact on our lives becomes real and tangible.

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  3. Very true Rajan ji, nobody’s knows God’s plan
    We need to be more gentle and helpful to others, rest all in God’s hands
    Waheguru

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  4. Very true Rajan ji, nobody’s knows God’s plan
    We need to be more gentle and helpful to others, rest all in God’s hands
    Waheguru

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  5. Very well said!! This is all God’s play and we are just a puppet to watch HIS movie. We all have to accept HIS will🙏🏽. Waheguru tu mahervan hai!!

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      1. Nita, yes every day is a present from God and we must live it fully and show our appreciation to HIM for that present. Lovely to hear from you in NBO (Nairobi, Kenya) or maybe you are in TPA (Tampa, FL) 🙂

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  6. Hari Om Rajan,
    All is well and wishing you and family the same.
    First my condolences for the family members you lost.
    May they Rest In Peace.
    I was really waiting for your article and finally I got to read.
    You are very right in saying
    “Man proposes and God Disposes.
    Nothing is in our hands 🙌 we are just puppets in real life just come to enact our part and one day we all have gone.
    Keep writing and will enjoy reading it !!

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  7. A very thought provoking message Rajan Ji. And very well written. I love what your daughter said “life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it”. Keep writing !!!

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  8. It is all in the hands of destiny and we cannot control the destiny….what we can only do is to be more humble polite and humane with one and all around us….this will help us in understanding our life from more close and also the reason for our birth as a human being.
    Life throws different challenges at us and we react to it differently at all times as your daughters mentioned, life is 10% action and 90% reaction ….if we want to understand life and live life king size ( spiritually not materially) we need to practice Contendedness towards materialistic pleasures…this will lead us to a more realistic approach to our life and will also give time to understand life and lead us on a spiritual journey which is supposed to be The Ultimate Goal.

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    1. Ashish, so good to hear from you in BOM (Mumbai, India) – thanks for sharing the spiritual journey perspective – all too often, we tend to believe that we do control everything when in fact, that is far from the truth – thanks for your enlightening note here 🙂

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  9. So well said rajan really all is in his hands we have to accept happily and be grateful for what we have thank you for sharing

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  10. Well drafted blog Rajan. In his quest to explore more and being seized by greed, man seems to compete with the Creator to go ahead of Him. But the Creator knows how to teach man a lesson by upsetting his designs. Nature is the best teacher and we ought to accept circumstances or situations arising, mould ourselves and move forward.

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    1. Meena, so nice to hear from you in BOM – thanks for your wonderful feedback and for providing this perspective – greed and ego sadly continue to drive mankind and yes, Nature is truly an amazing teacher 🙂

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  11. Namaste, Raj. Thanks for sharing. Truly, God is in charge, and knows the end from the beginning. When we lose sight of His vision, we stray far off course, emotionally, spiritually, and even financially.

    Thanks again for sharing. Great thoughts.

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  12. So true Rajan..we can only do our best, rest is up to Him.
    These are trying times and it has made us realise the amount of things we take for granted in life, not to mention life itself. We are learning about what truly matters – joy and laughter in the company of family and friends..what a rarity that has become!!

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    1. Simmi, nice to hear from you in SIN (Singapore) – thanks for sharing that perspective – hopefully some of that rarity may have returned during these tough times – that of joy and laughter in company of friends and loved ones – and I just hope that we do find time to continue doing what really does matter.

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  13. Raj, nice commentary on how it works in reality. Our human belief of control is upheld by little things in our life tasks, and destroyed by the big things. Sorry for your losses. I’ve made a decision to only surround myself with people I like and admire, life IS to short to do things that make us unhappy.

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  14. Wonderful reading this Rajan. Sorry for your losses and the challenges faced by your relatives. May the atmas of your uncle and aunts attain sadhgati.
    In times like this it is so easy to focus on the negative that the obvious positives fall off the radar. The one thing that is constant in our lives is the unwavering grace of God. Hopefully, people are more grounded as a result of the events of the last year. With the unpredictability of life, people should do what they have to do to live a life of purpose. God will guide them. I live by the AWP principle – Act with Purpose, Assist with Purpose, Attain/Achieve with Purpose!
    Take care my friend!
    Signing off from the flight path of ADS and F69!

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    1. Ranjan, nice to hear from you in ADS (Addison, Texas). Thanks for your touching mention and thanks for sharing the AWP principle – Act, Assist and Attain – simply beautiful 🙂

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  15. Great penmanship, Raj! Yes, this post year has been tough for almost everybody, but at the same time, God did put the brakes on a lot of things that mankind was doing wrong. Hopefully, mankind has learnt some lesson from this pandemic and appreciate life, since this is the most precious gift from the Almighty.
    Looking inwards, and practicing mindfulness can bring one peace. Let the past year be a lesson learnt….

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  16. Thank you for your post submitted 4/18/21. Your observations on the futility of planning versus the ability to adapt are so true in today’s world. As is so often quoted, “life gets in the way, when we are trying to make plans.”

    Each morning I awake, I look to the next 24 hours as a empty page for me to create a day well fulfilled. I plan for the “now” and hope for the “future”.

    Recognizing that change is inevitable, it is easier to anticipate than be overwhelmed with doubt when plans fall apart. As our faith teaches us, “Be Still, and know that I am God.”

    He will prevail.

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    1. Aww Becky – thanks for your kind hearted feedback – love your clarity on the “now” and what faith teaches us – sometimes we get so caught up in our daily grind, that we miss the beauty of “now” and do not appreciate that ultimately it is He who prevails !

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  17. Very well written as always….we both seem to be on the same wavelength…..I feel as though you are penning my thoughts with your amazing writing skills👍

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  18. Hari om Sir 🙏 sorry to hear about your losses and very well narrated blog .
    In this strange age of social distancing and lockdowns, many of us have gone through toughest time which we never ever taught of but It’s God who made us strong to face it and he is there with blessings.
    Current situation already made many of us little more humble for sure and taught us to ignore mistakes , forgive people’s + society is a lot like a Swiss watch, in that, without even the smallest wheel, it won’t work.
    Take care and stay safe .

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    1. Very well said Sangeeta – yes, we are all inter-connected and we have to accept everyone the way they are – none of us are infallible except God. With the 2nd wave unleashing its wrath, please stay safe and stay healthy in BOM, dear.

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