At the age of one, my mother wrapped me up to set on the journey from Kolkata, India to Muscat, Oman. Sailing across the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Ocean is quite the distance (2000 km to be precise). Little did I know that what seemed like the sands of time was what I would call home forever.
Muscat is the capital of Oman. With a population of 1.56 million people as per the current census. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and a multi-ethnic society. Yes, we have a king!! The city belives in bland architecture with low lying off-white colored houses. Our tallest building is probably 20 floors high!
I spent my entire school life in Indian School Muscat. One of the more popular school amongst the other Indian schools. Our king, His majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said himself has completed his education from Pune, Maharashtra. The love for Indians there is immense. Densely populated by the Malayalis, Tamils, Punjabis, Bengalis and so many more. When you say a Muslim country, you think of restrictions, rules to abide by, minority, racism, etc. Honestly, none of this exists there. Crime is almost nil. The roads are super clean. I was born looking at Masseratis and Corvettes pumping their engines to the fullest on the “Love road”. The men are really good looking. (As far as Im interested) and the women have their own charisma. People are humble and very helpful. We have a Nationals Day celebrated on the 18th of November every year to honor our King’s birthday. We also have a Muscat Festival hosted every start of the year with great shows from all over the world.
You would find a mosque at practically every corner of the lanes and the morning Azaan would be my alarm clock. Its a treat to hear it everyday. They also have churches and temples for other sects. Some famous architecture has been penned down in history such as the Grand mosque. The chandelier is awestrucking. There is a Royal Opera House that hosts various kinds of ballets or musicals for the classy and eminent crowd. The beaches and landscapes are to die for. Crystal clear skies condradicting the starry nights. There are many places close by to visit such as Salalah, Wahiba sands, Jabel shams, Jabel Akhdar and many more. Each depicting a different aura of Oman.
The food is just to die for. Truly if an Indian comes down to India and tatses the shawarma with a frown on their face is because nothing compares to the ones made by the cute looking Lebanese chefs. Extra fires, more of mayo, jalapenos and just about everything yummy to twist your tastebuds. The Iranian delicacies and also the famous Date Halwa are few of the famous dishes. The sweets are my favorite. Bakhlawa is one such sweet which still lingers in my tongue. The restaurants and fast food joints have spoiled us. Drive ways were so much fun. Lulu Hypermarket was one of my moms favorite malls there. I do not know of how many more gigantic malls have come up since but the availabilty of daily commodity was just a drive away. The biggest of brands and the best of luxury.
Each day spent in Muscat were the days I cherish and remember for eternity. I still feel regret for leaving the country too soon and not being able to spend just a few more days.
I miss my home and would always linger on to the memories I made there. The people I established such strong bonds with and how my life changed at one shot being back in India.