Monday, December 19, 2005

Back... finally! In Muscat!

Hi Blog!

Sorry for not showing up for a long time. Not because I have been extra-ordinarily busy or something... but simply because I was too ashamed to be here again... the place where I had written these elaborate notes about quitiing smoking, being strong and taking charge of my life.

But what did i do? I started smoking again at the first instance.

Today, I am in Muscat on a 5 month project. I have quit smoking again and have been refraining for the last 4 days. My chain-smoking colleague is currently in India. So its gonna be tough when he comes back here and smokes away to glory in front of me. I hope I am able to resist the temptation then.

Anyways, have been in this strange land for about 2 weeks now. The place is not unlike something u have ever seen before.. but still I am taking time getting used to it. The Omani men wear these white burkha-esque dresses that I find really weird and boring. The Omani women are too few and wear black burkhas. However, thankfully they are allowed to show their faces.. and some of them are pretty. But they put too much make-up... not very surprising considering the fact that their face is the only thing thats on display!

The country is rich.. I live in the capital city and the place is posh. Nice roads, swank buidlings... but the problem is that the city is only 20 years old.. so it looks like a Gurgaon... a barren landscape with fancy buildings sprotuing out of nowhere... even the mosques here are swank, new structures which seem like they have been constructed by some American contractor. Temples, chuches and mosques... all places of worship inspire real faith when they are a bit old, a bit dilapidated.. these new colorful mosques look more like shopping malls with a Mughal theme to me.

The city itself is surrounded by mountains.. and these are mountains in the truest sense. Back in Maharshtra, the mountains are nice hillocks, green, with highways around it, tunnels through it, with people trekking, with tiny temples on the top, with small hutments on the slopes... The mountains in Muscat are as stark and as scary as they come.. There isnt a speck of green on their surface.. tall, jagged, rocky... they look unviting and harsh... adding to the barren-ness of this land... there's one right outside my office window.. its seems like it must be just 20 metres beyond the buidlings on the other - side of the road..

For the first few days, after a few hours of hardwork, I would instinctively go to the window to have a look outside and refresh myself... I have stopped doing that now... coz the damned mountain leaves me with no view!

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