Since mid-February, I’ve been inundated with calls and e-mails from family and friends in India and across the world on the ‘situation’ in Oman. The first was the kid brother who received pictures of Lulu burning in Sohar even before I’d seen them! The online junkie he is, news reached him first before anyone else. “What’s happening akka, come back!,” he said. Yes, it took a long chat conversation to ensure we were fine and why I did not have to take the first flight back home.

Then the older brother called… worried. Friends called… messaged and sent mails.  And such has been life for the past one month. Yes, home is home. I understand that… But where is your home… Is it not where definitely you and your heart feel safe… secured and loved? And that’s what Oman and Muscat really means to me.

I arrived here as a young 23-year-old bride in 1997 ready to begin life in a new country. Here’s where I learned the ropes of my profession in a place where I enjoyed work and had fun, almost like an extension of college life. Here’s where I became part of a huge, extended family of friends of the husband (who incidentally completes 21 years in Oman this year) – a humungous group that spells the kind of closeness that even close family cannot sometimes replicate. Here’s where I made friends that I know will last a lifetime.  Here’s where the brat has grown up since the age of three months and it’s in Oman where he continues to learn every aspect of life – whether it’s multi-culturalism, openness or spirituality. 

Over the years, Muscat has become home not for the laidback kind of life people think it offers. Not just because it takes only seven minutes for me to reach office from home. Not just because I can practise my beliefs and faith. Not just because I have a job that I love and pays well. And not because of the luxuries in life I can afford. And definitely not because as some would like to think, ‘I do not have to pay tax!’

Oman means a lot to me because of its people. Their friendliness, warmth and hospitality surprise me each time, all the time. When the brat was a baby, I’ve often had old Omani men thrust a 100 baisa note into his hands. I used to be surprised, but it was their way of blessing the little one. I will always remember finishing my shift  at Times after 10pm and walking down the stairs to the invitation of the Omanis at the reception area to share chicken from KFC or biryani. I’d politely decline saying that I did not eat anything that in any point of their lives walked, flew or swam. They’d laugh but never forget to offer their food to me every night.

At office, whenever I feel low, my young colleague envelops me in a bear hug that although threatens to break my bones, also provides me with the warmth of friendship that never asks, but forever gives. She has picked up Hindi at lightning speed and even spouts poetry at times.  At the airport, Omani staff make sure they are always cordial, respectful and helpful. And they never forget to make conversation with the brat who charms them always with a ‘Salaam Aleiykum’. It’s the same everywhere, with the women I meet during the course of work; most of them an inspiration or role models to look upto. There are scores of examples of the wonderful people I’ve met or continue to meet… the brightest sides of my life in Oman for the past 14 years.

Yesterday was Holi.  I walked into office to a burst of colour. But what warmed the cockles of my heart was to see my Omani colleagues participating in the festivities as much as we did without complaining one bit.

All was well. And I know, all will be well!

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “All will be well…

  1. OMG! soooooooooooooo amazing rex.. but is it giving a feeling that you are leaving soon! i don’t want to c that day anytime soon.

  2. Home away from Home. So you cannot part with Oman. Good to be in a place where you are getting peace of mind. It should be like that only. Many more years of blogging while in Oman.

  3. I stayed for 2 years in Oman…this post brings back all the sweet memories of my time there…yes, it’s not the money, the luxury, the comfort, the history, it’s always the people that fascinate me and attract me to new places! I see it’s the same for you too.

    Well written!!! Hats off!

  4. So calming & reassuring; Rekha – you really have a way with words. This is just the reason that many of us have stayed back in Oman, having come with a plan for a short stay of 3 – 5 years & stay on to become Omani citizens!!!!! Never have we felt in any way different from the people we meet each day, interact with or speak with. It is this that sets Oman apart from any of the other nations in the region or world. I totally agree with you…ALL WILL BE WELL….

  5. Your adoption of Oman as your second ( or maybe first) home is complete and for good reasons. It’s evident that your heart is there and hope there won’t be a time when you need to take a hardheaded decision.

    Narayanan

    1. thanks for your comment narayanan. no… i don’t mind coming back to india at all. that is what i will ultimately do, sooner or later. i wrote this in the face of never ending arguments and discussions that’ve been going on for a while now. one must acknowledge the goodness of the place and people where one lives. that was my point!

  6. A beautiful post if I may say so:-))!!!!
    The tense situation prevailing around us is making everybody jittery. Like u said I too have this confidence “All will be well”
    Have been to Muscat just once and loved it, I remember asking my husband if we cd relocate:-D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s