Adieu 2018

December 10, 2018

Robert Browning in Pippa Passes wrote: “The lark’s on the wing; The snail’s on the thorn: God’s in His heaven - All’s right with the world!” and this was oft quoted by P. G. Wodehouse in his many novels. But obviously, neither Browning nor Wodehouse had been to Muscat during the month of December - actually forget December, I don’t think they had ever been to Muscat during any month - otherwise he would have probably written: “The zephyr kisses the cool sea and wafts across, The sparrows and swallows frolic amidst the desert-roses, Atticus is in the garden and God’s in His Heaven- All’s right with the world!”

Indeed…it’s that time of the year when “God’s in His Heaven and All’s right with the world,” irrespective of the movement of oil or gold prices or the movements of those drivers on the Muscat roads, who believe they are secret service agents and giving the indicators before switching lanes or entering the roundabout, will reveal the state secrets that they think they are carrying in their cars. Despite these irritants, this weather makes Oman a Paradise and entices old friends to come visiting. A dear friend was on a short trip and despite her hectic schedule, we did manage to spend a few fleeting moments together, bridging the gap of a few months. Lovely seeing you Bridget!

And we also got to see a friend who had been away for almost five years, and it has been wonderful catching up with him. Didn’t really know that he knew Farrokh Balsara, and that they were school mates. For the uninitiated, Farrokh Bulsara started going by the name of Freddie when he was at St Peter’s, a boarding school for boys in Panchgani, near Bombay. He legally changed his name to Freddie Mercury around 1970, when Queen was formed and the rest, as they say, is history. The 2018 biographical film Bohemian Rhapsody was, at its release, the highest-grossing musical biographical film of all time. Time to do the fandango!

And before I sign off, a few random thoughts:
Do you know that during my school days, we would sneak out of the house to go to parties? Now I sneak out of the parties to go home - Joy of missing out (JOMO) instead of Fear of missing out (FOMO)!

Do you know that this is not what old-age looked in the advertisement? *

Do you know that for each action, there is an equal & opposite reaction, plus a social media overreaction?

Wishing Freyan & Rohan a blissful and wonderful life ahead - last week we didn’t go to Udaipur for the Priyanka & Nick Jonas wedding and the Isha Ambani & Anand Piramal pre-wedding celebrations, basically because we weren’t invited; but now, Udaipur here we come…as we have seen our little Freyan grow up from the sweet pony-tailed baby to this gorgeous lady dabbling in the world of finance and investments and also because we have been invited to this Udaipur wedding! Hurray or is that Hurrah?

And tomorrow is my old friend Nandy’s birthday, who used to spend her college days meandering “across the road,” and then armed with a B.A. degree went flying across the world with BA, and now lives “across the border” painting the town red, and the candles, plates and trays redder. Then day-after is another friend’s big day - she went gallivanting across the world as a diplomat’s wife and is now back in Delhi after hobnobbing with the Windsors. Have an extra flute of the bubbly from our side, Gigi!

One would be a fool, nay, a half-wit, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, moron to even consider going away from Oman during this season, but go away we must. So with due apologies to the writers of the BBC series Yes Minister, “I wonder if I might crave your momentary indulgence in order to discharge a by no means disagreeable obligation which has, over the years, become more or less established practice, as we approach the terminal period of the year - calendar, of course, not financial - and submit to you, with all appropriate deference, for your consideration at a convenient juncture, a sincere and sanguine expectation, indeed confidence - indeed one might go so far as to say hope - that the aforementioned period may be, at the end of the day, when all relevant factors have been taken into consideration, susceptible to being deemed to be such as to merit a final verdict of having been by no means unsatisfactory in its overall outcome and, in the final analysis, to give grounds for being judged, on mature reflection, to have been conducive to generating a degree of gratification which will be seen in retrospect to have been significantly higher than the general average.”

Actually what one means to say is...Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! Adieu 2018 - the TT shall hopefully reappear in mid-January of 2019!