JULY 22, 2010: THE THREE DAY WEEKEND
Today marks the first day of a three day weekend: this is the second time in July that we have been awarded a three day weekend. Superimpose on that the fact that weather in this month has been much more moderate than it has been in any July that I have seen in Muscat and it will be easy to understand why the whole of July has been like a long holiday! Day after, on Sunday morning, I am off on a business trip for a week to Italy and Germany, will be back for a day and my wife (who has been given the responsibility to address a number of loose ends while I am away) and I depart for a three week trip to Coimbatore. The trip to Coimbatore is, for all official purposes, being seen as my annual holiday. The reality is that, it is a medical sojourn of sorts and involves several days of spartan living with tons of oil being used to massage the body and nothing to massage the soul! Those of you are interested to know the details of what transpired last year when we were in Coimbatore, please check out on my Coimbatore Diary archives which I plan to post on this blog later tonight!
Yesterday night we had a lovely one hour Sai Bhajan at our home and my wife had decorated the Mantap beautifully and the voices of the Bhajan singers in unison spread an aroma of divinity all round. What has never failed to appeal to me every time we have had such a session at home is the sense of discipline and one-mindedness that the participants display. They come with the musical instruments and the microphone system about ten minutes to eight, set it up, start the singing at eight sharp and conclude with the AARTI at nine, collect the prasadam and silently disperse immediately thereafter without indulging in any chatter.
Earlier in the day, tempted by the thought of seeing a beautiful female form (Angelina Jolie) in an action flick, we watched her latest movie “SALT”. Tom Cruise had earlier turned that role down and perhaps he had an inkling of the hyperbole this movie had in store. The role fell into Angelina’s lap and her presence does not bring any redemption to a movie which looks like a typical Masala Movie with tons of incredulity. Thankfully, the movie was just 100 minutes long and the memory of that was quickly wiped out by the wonderful meal which my wife served at home.
The reason why we have a three weekend beginning today is that the Ascension Day (the day our Sultan came to power 40 years back) falls on a Friday (which is already a holiday!) and hence Saturday has been declared as an official holiday in the entire Sultanate. The Ascension Day falls on July 23rd, and I remember it for another very important reason: my next blog post will detail that reason!