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Showing posts from January, 2010

Tryst With Omani Driving License

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Petrol... petrol... give (pronounced G-EVE) more petrol...

Do not hold the steering so hard... If you required so much of strength then no women would be driving a car...
Give indicator....... stop the indicator baba!
Do not look behind while taking a left or right turn... even if Sultan Qaboos is behind you, he will stop!
These are some of the dialogues that one has to get used to hearing if he has to take classes to get a Driving license in Oman.
Muscat is a friendly place and for me it was all the more friendly as it was full of old friends. The piece of inside news that I received after landing at Seeb International Airport was that having a driver’s license was like having another degree. I was quite excited at the idea of giving a test without having to study for long. I smiled to myself and said it must be as easy as a blood test! But the reality struck me quite soon.
Our family never owned a car but my father had a Government car at his disposal which it used to be parked at…

koii dost hai na raqiib hai

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koii dost hai na raqiib hai
teraa shahar kitanaa ajiib hai

Soon it is going to be three months that I have stepped into this new country and this how I can describe this place today. The line above is borrowed from a poem which has been immortalized as a gazal by the famous singer Jagjit Singh. For those who are not conversant with Ürdu I would like to translate it into English.
Your city is quite a strange land where there are no friends neither are there any enemies… now Raquib is a word which cannot be truly expressed by saying enemy. Enemy poses a threat to you and might hurt you or inflict deadly blow. While one’s raquib is the man who is loved by the girl you have fallen for. This can be a cocktail of a competitor and an opponent. … so it is quite an intense word ... isn’t it!
I am having such a feel about this place because I find people here are too busy with their own life and their circle of trust. I still haven’t figured it out if this is a big city syndrome or a small city e…

The Republic Day

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Today is a day of national celebrations… our Republic Day. India was declared a Republic on 26 of January, 1950. This day has inspired me throughout my life…. So here I am dedicating some time to my much neglected Blog Space. Probably I needed the inspiration as much I needed the time!

Poster of Incredible India in a foreign country makes us proud
There is a strange relationship that a child shares with his mother. The same is true between one and the motherland. Since childhood the Independence Day (15th August) and the Republic Day (26th January) has been very special to us. On these two days we used to hoist the national flag in our house without fail ... We were taught that each and every citizen had the responsibility to hoist the Tricolor in their house. The flag had to go up before the sun rises and come down at the sunset before it gets dark. While the schools and Governmental bodies used to have permanent flag poles we at the household always used to improvise.
I have some fond …

This New Year

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Best Wishes for 2010 to all my friends and your loved ones.


The absence of both the eves from my home turned this New Year’s Eve into quite a boring state of affair. These days I am the whole and sole moving creature in my home and moving so fast at work that it leaves with neither time nor the temperament to jot down a few lines for my blog. Initially I had decided that I would welcome the New Year in a deep state of meditation sitting in the serene posture of Buddha. That did not happen but instead I found myself reflecting on the changes I witnessed in my lifetime. Thoughts were drifting and swaying in all direction till I started to think about New Year greeting Vis-à-vis sending cards and letters.

The world of this small-town boy was finite and very small as I grew up. We had a few friends but fortunately they were real to the letter “l” (pun intended). We would meet at least once most of the days and we could touch, feel them, hug them and even fight with them unlike the virtual …