May 26, 2016

Ma’salama

Whenever I was asked the casual “So, where are you from?” question, I found myself debating the answer in my head. Should I say Calcutta, where I was born? Or is it Oman, where I spent over two decades? Eventually, I always launch into a lengthy explanation which probably made the person asking the question immediately regret it! Ha.

The beautiful, yet relatively undiscovered Sultanate I grew up in is where my mind goes to, when I think of a happy place. There aren’t any nosy relatives here, no politics, no negativity. Just my family, pristine beaches, clear blue skies and really amazing shawarma. What’s not to love!

But it is time to say goodbye. As I sit at my desk on my last day at work writing this, I know that in two days I will be on an airplane – zooming away at a furious pace from the place I called home for the longest time. And I might never be able to be back. Serviettes have already been packed.

I thought that it was important to remember all the things I love here and good times I’ve had. I’m putting together a few random thoughts today…

The first thing that comes to mind are the mountains. Many people find the Hajar range that line most of this country to be arid and hence not appealing. But I’ve always loved them; I used to climb them daily as a child – so much that I got named ‘mountain goat’ 🙂

Every time I drive towards old Muscat, I cannot help thinking about going to school in a tin-can bus while becoming sufficiently fluent in Malayalam (living in the Gelf will do that to you) and even being able to sing along with the Omani national anthem – which I have always thought to be beautifully composed.

Oman has always been home. Synonymous with MaBaba. It’s not an easy thought to leave behind the flat I grew up in, where I had signed initials in whitener on windows, door frames, and anything else I could find.

I will miss the beaches most. And the simply stunning sunsets that I could see from my bedroom window almost every evening – almost like the sky was on fire!

I’ve had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with the Sun. But I just know that I will dearly miss it. Especially the streaming gently through your window kind.

Zeenah PR. My second home, a workplace that made me feel comfortable, yet responsible. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside some really talented and warm people.

Just the other day, it broke my heart to put the car up on OLX. Driving here is a real pleasure, especially because of the simply fantastic roads. My grandmother once rightly said that she could sleep on the tarmac. I could too…

And lastly, the people I will miss dearly, I’ve probably made three friends in the last three years, but I know I’ll keep them for life!

I’m sure there is lots more I’ll remember and add to the list – after all, 21 years is no short time and memories should never be allowed to fade.

This Saturday night, I’ll look down at the perfect crisscrossing roads and the yellow tinge of the streetlights from my window seat and sigh deeply. After all, its ma’salama Oman, you will always be in my heart ♥

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