July 23 is a holiday in Oman every year; it is celebrated as Renaissance Day. It was on this date, 41 years back, that Oman was put on its glorious journey by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of what is popularly called here as Renaissance. The sentiment of the locals is beautifully summed up in the cover page of one of the local newspapers thus: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said simply expressed his love for his people in many diverse ways- he built bridges of friendship, channels of knowledge, highways of opportunity, ports of progress and kindled a flame in every Omani to strive for excellence in every field.
I am reminded of this every year by the ripened date fruits hanging from the date palms and immediately on seeing these fruit laden trees, I tell myself that July 23rd is fast approaching.
Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame also celebrates this date every year, but for a different reason: it happens to be his birthday. And all those passionate followers of English Cricket, who are feasting on the occasion of the 2000th Test Match currently being played at the Lord’s in London between India and England, would be celebrating the birthday of Graham Gooch, the famous English cricketer. And today is a Saturday and therefore a holiday in most parts of the world; so most people would be just celebrating because it is a holiday!
My family and I remember this date for a very special reason ; it was exactly two years back that Dr Vivek Jawli performed a beating heart quadruple by-pass cardiac surgery and gave me a fresh lease of life; thus my repaired heart is two years old today!! And although the doctor did nothing to my eyes, I have been finding that I have a far more youthful vision than I had before. It was perhaps my new heart which muttered to the mind: Jo Dekhna Hai Jawaan Nazron Se Dekho; Kyonki Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (See what you should with youthful vision; for life won’t happen a second time). And whenever I pass through the thoroughfare which used to be called “Central Corridor”, but has now been renamed as July 23rd Street, I tell my friends that the Municipality has renamed the road to commemorate my successful surgery!!