How I met Camus in Dubai

I won't sugar coat my words here. I owe every thing that has happened to me in these four years to one Suraj Dhiman (name not changed) with whom I had a series of talks at night in the balcony of our apartment in Dubai over bottles of Red label and J.Daniels after a suffocating work at the construction site.

He had a huge collection of movies. And I had a huge collection of metal songs from Pantera, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath to System of a Down.

Our nights started with him bringing a bottle of fine whiskey to my balcony with his laptop. He would then start a movie from his collection. And our conversations would start through the motion pictures and sips of intoxication.

He was the one who introduced me to Ingman Bergman's movies. I loved his movies, the best one was The seventh Seal where the protagonist, an atheist, delays his death by challenging the death god with a game of chess.

The drunken nights would then proceed towards the discussion on the movies.  We would start arguing over our views regarding the meaning behind certain scenes.

During one such night he suggested me to read The stranger by Albert Camus while arguing with me over a scene where I had a tough time understanding the motive behind one character in killing his best friend.

That's how..yes that's how I met Camus in Dubai for the first time.

Can books change a person entirely?  I don't know the answer to that but the book shocked me to the core. A month of serving notice period and I returned back from that place.

I still feel the absurdity whenever I see or hear his name. I still question myself - why did he kill the Arab?

Do you ever feel the presence of a different person inside you? I feel his presence. These four years have been an unpleasant journey I have taken being with that person inside me.

I know there will be several years before I can understand the person or perhaps I may not ever.

And when I understand that person,  that time when I understand that person within me, I would understand why he killed the Arab! 


  1. In spite of the many interpretations the why remains absurd. You are right: the stranger lives within us.

    1. It is also strange how we keep finding things we love to be associated with.

      I would have loved to have conversations with you on our favorite books. That would have been an honor.

      A very similar novel that I read once was The Trial by Kafka.


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