Bismillahi Rehmani Raheem (Doing it the Arabic way, any act in the Middle East begins in the name of the Almighty)
SALALAH for Me..
A Middle East Paradise, second largest city in the Sultanate of Oman, and the largest city in the Dhofar Provence. For all those whose haven’t heard – Capital and seat of the Governor of the southern Omani province of Dhofar.
A city for those who crave a calm, simple middle class standard of living a life of luxury, with their loved ones and away from all the noise and the pollution. Life here is a little easier with the usual amount of hard work but you are guaranteed more family time and a good night’s sleep.
25yrs ago it was merely a desert with minimal population and barely any infrastructure to even look at. You will come across a lot of the older generation who would be proud to see the city grow so much in the last few yrs. Today the city offers a lot of scope to the Marine, Petro-chemical industry and much more. Yes, it’s slow but who wants to rush? One of the best well planned Middle-East cities blessed by Mother Nature.
I happened to spend 20yrs of my life.. Yup, that is a long time..
Like I mentioned earlier, Salalah was almost a desert with nothing much to explore apart from the Jabals and the beaches. We weren’t really happy to have shifted here coz we were new to the place and to top it they were hardly any people to socialize. By ‘socialize’, let me tell you, there’s nothing of that sort in Salalah; apart from those family picnics and dinners you had nothing much to do then. This monotonous life of just school and back home with books made me step into the world of tedium. I do not blame the city for it, she had nothing to do with the kind of life we had. Coz it’s up to you to find some way out and have fun but we couldn’t. And I wonder why? A travel person that I am, I hardly explored the city back then. Done with all the beaches/scenic spots, I was fed up of doing the same thing; thanks to music, I had something to complement. No place to go to, no new face to look at, no source of entertainment , it’s that point in life when you are tired of being so confused, jaded and stuck that you do not want to let go, coz there’s nothing you want to hold on to! I started hating the city, the people around me and life by itself. I found noise in a city absolutely so calm and just wanted to break free. But I failed to that all through this I had let life drown me into the deepest drains; I let her blindfold me and walked in the darkness until I hit real hard. And that was it. It took a while to stand up and clean myself.
But hey!! Hold on! Here’s the happier side.. 🙂
Left in 2004 and came down here.. Home, where I belong…
They say in Hindi – “Ek baar desi ka hawa lag gaya, tho baki sab bekaar lagtha hai”. I dint want to leave my land for anything, coz I had just gotten to know her.
I did though.. I went back, with a difference. Rhonda Byrne in “The Secret” is damn right when she says “Let it go”. It took me a flight journey of 5hrs to get this into my head and then voila! I stepped into the city beaming with love. I even felt her welcome me and she did all she could to earn her love from me. Happened to bump into some school mates and did all that I longed for. The picturesque Jabal view (mountains) and a gorgeous time with Nature during Khareef (it’s a season of light rain/mizzle while the city is as its best) and much more. I did it all 🙂
Someone like me who prefers to travel would get bored of this city after a certain time but if you are among those who want to relax and just let it lie, you should try Salalah for a while..
Your smooth roads made me fall in love with driving. Those numerous beaches and the Khareef gave me free ride to heaven, and the fact that there were just 2 veg restaurants helped me recognize my love for cooking.
Someone once told me, it’s easy to be a fish in a pond and even easier to be the lazy crocodile and wag your tail; nonetheless, the sight of a beautiful whale is what people long for in an ocean.
Making an identity is difficult in today’s world but in a city like Salalah, piece of cake; at least for me. I left you, for India to become that whale.
Thanks for giving me my childhood and all that you taught me. I hope to return some day (for a short time) with my bunch of folks and throw them into your arms and let them fall in love with you.