Welcome back to the grind


November 27, 2018

Welcome back to the grind…now that the National Day holidays are over, guess you would have reintroduced yourself to your colleagues and your desk, as demanded by the face recognition stuff akin to the smart phones of today. Due to the holidays, you would have also experienced withdrawal symptoms for not getting your alternate Tuesday’s fix of the TT. So the detox process hop-skipped-and-jumped a Tuesday and voila…now presenting to you the 215th TT!

November started with a very pleasant surprise when the young lady from Bombay (find it very difficult to call it Mumbai) decided to arrive unannounced, and with due apologies to the Bard, instead of “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”, created havoc and let loose the dog at home. Atticus went berserk and the neighbours woke up hearing the mother and sister shriek with joy. The next nine days that she was here, were spent partying as it was the Diwali season which invariably is, what Keats had described as: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close bosom-friend of the maturing sun…” where one longs “for a draught of vintage that hath been cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth, tasting of Flora and the country green, Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth!”

On Diwali (the festival of lights) night - which is a celebration of good over evil - a few good friends came to Casa Vermas, to help us celebrate with a bite and a tipple or two, and in cases like yours faithfully, the tipple became three or four. After all, the saying ‘the more the merrier’ is for a reason. The next day of Diwali is the Gujarati New Year, and as is the annual tradition, lunch is always at Sheikh Kanakbhai’s place where one puts on at least a kilo (for the uninitiated it refers to 2.205 pounds) by just looking at the variety of homemade desserts. Again as is the annual tradition, the Saal Mubarak or the New Year dinner is always at Ramesh and Madhvi’s place, where about a thousand people come to celebrate the event - ok that was a hyperbole; the numbers are probably in the 975-990 range!

So after that fortnight of sheer gluttony and what Wodehouse describes as being “oiled, boiled, fried, plastered, whiffled, sozzled, and blotto” one had just about recovered and caught one’s breath, when the five-day holiday bonanza was announced and it was suddenly “yesterday once more.”

The National Day is always a day of happiness and joy for the nationals and the expatriates alike and with Zeus making the weather conducive to entertain ‘Bacchus and his pards’, one celebrated the National Day with joy and fervour.

It was a bit difficult to get back to the grind after five days of being a sloth and crapulous, but what was perhaps really poignant was to remember that yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Bombay, which was specifically chosen by Lashkar-e-Taiba and where hostages were taken, and at least 167 people were killed.

To show solidarity with India, Hillary Clinton visited Mumbai in July 2009, and stayed at the Taj hotel and also attended a commemoration event thereby sending a message that she personally was in sympathy with the employees and the guests of the Taj who lost their lives… . More power to the staff who went over and beyond the call of their duty to protect the lives of the other guests!

Closer home, in this month’s edition of Vogue Arabia, the famous (or infamous?) supermodel Naomi Campbell has confided that “Oman is one of my secret places that I run off to when I need a break”. Guess soon Ms Campbell might need to take a break from Oman, as after the magazine hits the stands, a lot of her fans here would run after her for ‘selfies’ to flood their social media pages.

And before I sign off, a few random thoughts:

Do you know that words are powerful, so one should choose them good or the days of people using proper English would soon be went and the Thesaurus would graze in the pasture?

Do you know that the basic caveat of becoming a member of the Thesaurus Club is that one does not talk about, mention, speak of, discuss, go public or reveal anything about the Thesaurus?

Do you know that those who can’t join the Thesaurus Club are sadly those who can’t differentiate between ‘trumpery’ and ‘cockalorum’, which in the present day context is synonymous?

Till next fortnight…which incidentally is a very special fortnight, as my dear dear friend Deepa (who is more like family) celebrates her birthday tomorrow; and day after, the other friend Yashi, who one has known since the second grade, turns a young sixty-something and my cup runneth over with love and affection for two-thirds of the Trinity - my lovely daughters who will celebrate their birthdays on December 5 and 8.
Wishing all of you guys happiness and good health and enough patience to continue reading the TT!