I was on a sabbatical for a month, travelled from Gurgaon to Mumbai to Pune and then back home to Muscat for the large part of February. This is my first post in 40 days which is a personal record for me. I needed space, a recalibration in my goal posts and a realization that ones personal journey is unlike any other. The moment when I landed in Oman, I felt that I am back home. As I collected my family visit visa, & felt wonderful when the Omani Immigration Offer stamped the visa on my last bit of vacant real estate on my passport and my heart experience a calm joy when I stepped out of Seeb airport. The biggest joy is the joy of being home after two years.
I went to my old college days hangouts of Shatti Al Qurum: the English breakfast at D’Arcy’s Kitchen or a drink at Traders Vic@Inter Con, Muscat is still epic. I met old friends and colleagues who helped me realize that in some places time indeed flows albeit at a slower rhythm. The accelerated rush like feel of a 30 sec ad film as in Mumbai and Singapore had driven in me a post-modern definition of development. The humanity had a slow death in me in the stock marketization ticker like culture that we dwell in. A stroll across the Muscat Corniche and the traditional Mutrah Market is not the commodification of culture but a model in how traditions and the western model of progress can exist in fairly east equilibrium. Infrastructure in Muscat is probably grade one undoubtedly.
How we conceptualize modernity determines the shape that development evolves into. Oman has forced me to re-think progress once again.
The biggest take-away was rather strange- Muscat is still Home, and will always be. Shukran Oman.