Monday, July 14, 2014

There is no harm in asking!!!

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When I was 16, I was going through a rough patch in life. Boy friends, breakups, exams, mood swings, irritation, distraction and above all, an unending curiosity. Yes, I do agree life was different by then. Life is different today because of the mistakes committed in the past. But I often wonder, could life have been more better? Could  have I studied a little more harder to secure a place in a good college? Could have I kept myself away from emotional hassles which tormented me for years? Could have I kept my curiosities to myself without trying to get an answer and getting involved at a different level? 12 years before, it was like a whole different world. Mobile phones were babies and internet on phone was on the process of gestation, where as 3G was not even fertilized. The only option was slow processing desktops, with slower internet taking an hour to open google. So all the questions were unanswered and I was at no level of asking my parents anything.

Time changed, things changed and a whole new era opened up in front of us. From laptops, to tablets to 3G to 4G, seems like entire globe is revolving at our finger tips. And also, all the solutions to our problems!!! 
Be it a love affair or a strangled marriage status or an employment issue or a suicidal feeling, your every problem has found a new home to unravel answers, to feel supported and to hold those fingers, which would lead you towards the right path in life. It is a time in life when you feel you are lost and you need some one to guide you but the complexities in you make you totter and zip those lips. If this is the phase you are sailing in, then you should be a part of a group called "". I wish I was only 16 now!!! is a portal (launched already) with a team of experts and volunteers, who will not only solve your issues and problems but also, try to instill a new ray of hope by inspiring you at every level possible. Be it fashion, beauty, health, sex, girl friend issues or any personal problems, the experts from the panel will answer your queries and help you resolve your problem. Adding on to it, there will be lots of inspiring guest posts from the volunteers!!! When I told my husband about this website, he asked me why would anybody be interested in sharing their problems with a stranger. I believe sometimes, we can not share everything with the people we love (be it embarrassment or preserving our own image) but we feel at ease asking the same question to a stranger whom we have never met, who is also an expert in that area (so we know for sure there is no nonsense talk going on) and also, all our queries are met without any embarrassment or shame!!! There is also another angle to this concept. If I really need some advice on my looks I can't ask my husband, can I??? So here is a platform to all those people who seek help, who seek advice, who seek hope, who seek guidance or who seek inspiration. My husband always says, what is life without inspiration and at a tender age, kids don't need lecturing but encouragement. I am hopeful that will sure serve as a catalyst to ignite the best in people, showing a better path to those who are lost and to those who are willing to walk.

Do visit It is live now :)

or like it on facebook advice adda on facebook

or be a volunteer and help people to lead a better life (You can email at and share you inspiring life incidents and stories and be a part of the family)

This post is NOT written as a part of any blogging contest!!! I am doing free publicity as a volunteer as I believe is up for a noble cause. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Love beyond eternity...

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It was an explosion; though it looked tiny, it had killed everyone aboard.  For once, it reminded me of crackers bursting in the azure sky during Diwali. This was different. It was not fun as the fire splattered the colour of blood. I gazed again through the window, wondering what really was happening but it had vanished, in seconds. Boom! It was all gone, burnt in ashes. The moment I caught held of my senses, I ran towards the luggage counter to report what my eyes witnessed.  So foolish of me, obviously the entire airport was engulfed in the smell of death, shattered, torn in to pieces. Saccadic eye movements asking bizarre questions made me nauseous; I too was at the rim of questioning.

I asked a passenger who looked quite lost like everybody else.
“What happened to that plane? Was it an explosion? Which plane was it?” In the verge of curiosity I had forgotten all my friendly manners learnt for years.
“Nobody really knows what is happening. Rumours are to be believed then we are still at risk. Terrorists are walking around in this airport right now. I just want to get back to my family as soon as possible” he whispered, rigid with fear and some strange longing to be alive.
 “Do you have any idea which plane was under attack?” I didn't know why that piece of information seemed important, which of course was important!
“Looks like, its JA 9w 321. That was the one to departure just now” he replied again submerged in the valley of unknown emotions.
I couldn't believe the words he uttered and after re-confirming, I just had to thank god for making me the sleepyhead.

Like always, I got up at 3 am to catch up my early morning flight. Staying at a good three hour drive away from the airport, I jiggled in the car unable to sleep. I made myself comfortable on the soft cushiony sofa only to make up for my deprived sleep. Thank heavens, flight was delayed by an hour. The best part of sleeping in an airport is, nobody wakes you up except the announcement chap but he seemed to have no effect on me. So I slept like a small baby sleeps on mother’s lap.  And when I was finally woken up by an old fellow -the kind who intrudes in everybody’s business- I was pissed off to be precise. I gazed outside window, still yawning, cursing the old fellow only to see a miniature airplane explode in the sky right in front of me; the same airplane which I had missed due to my torpid sleep. I thanked god, a zillion times for keeping me alive, for delaying the flight by an hour, for making me sleepy and for not hearing the announcements.

Considering the lightning speed work of journalists these days, my family would presume I was dead too. Neena! She would be broken. I had to call her at the earliest. But not-so-surprisingly there was no network in my phone and all the paid booths were dead. Damn the jammers, I had to call my family to inform I was alive. After pestering 'cut-the-crap', airport security officials for long, they threatened an arrest for causing security breach. Growling tiger to a tiny mouse, I let myself in to the lounge silently, waiting for the jammers to lift the curse. Thoughts about Neena began seeping in making me restless and calm at the same time. I knew she would be worried but the very thought of her made my lips twitch. I was smiling, in an airport where hundreds of people had died, where my own life had no guarantee, where terrorists were walking like civilians, and where death had invaded our privacy prying in to everybody’s life. Yet, there I was, sitting with frightened, agitated, horror-struck strangers, smiling silently thinking about my Neena.

I had first met Neena on the day I was born. We were born in the same hospital, same day and our cradles being placed next to each other made us fall in love instantly. Neena was not only my birth mate but also, my class mate, neighbor, distant relative and best friend. We grew up like two bodies cladded in one soul.  I had proposed to her in second standard amidst the entire family, literally screaming, that I would marry only Neena and she acting like a woman already, smiled in consent. I loved everything about Neena and as she grew up, she looked no less than Angelina Jolie. She had a lean and athletic body with naturally thick and pouted lips, which any model would envy upon. With brown eyes, long lashes and a perfectly heart shaped face; I let out a deep sigh every time I watched her cross me. But, the best part was her giggling laughter, which pierced my heart rendering a smooth pain making me fall in love with her every day. That was my Neena, an angel chiseled out of heaven walking straight in to my life as if she was born for me. Neena could have done so much better in selecting a groom considering my short and squat body, making me look shorter irrespective of being taller than her. I wasn't smart looking at all and to Neena’s standards, I knew, I could never match. With all the physical irregularities kept aside, we were madly in love. Not since second standard but since our birth, we were born to lighten up each others' lives. And so we obeyed destinies command. We got married right after college unable to bear the distance of two gates. Marriage not only bonded us for law but for eternity. Things never changed after marriage like warned by my friends, but my involvement in family business did. She often complained about my business tours. Having no other options left, I disappointed her each time, leaving her alone for weeks. This time it was going to be different as I had asked her to join me in Dublin, after my meetings were accomplished, for a romantic weekend. 

But the plans got crashed along with the crashing plane. Oh the terrorists!!! Didn't they get any other day for killing people? When I was parading between romance and helplessness, an airport officer pulled me out of my reverie.
“Excuse me sir, you need to come with us for some questions” I obeyed hoping I could go home soon.
They questioned me like I had planted a bomb in the plane I was supposed to catch and faked my sleep. This is what is wrong with the government; they catch the innocent walking past by the guilty. Anyways, after a lot of questioning, they asked me to wait in the lounge again. Phones were still dead and so looked the people in the airport. I sat again thinking about Neena as only she was giving me constant hope and much needed support in that valley of unexpected silent death. I sat, slept, prayed, hummed, dreamed, counted hours, minutes and seconds but we were stranded in the airport for almost fifteen hours. Finally, we were asked to leave, I breathed deep to suck in some fresh air. 

I rushed towards a taxi and jumped in out of excitement, to tell Neena, how I had escaped death. I once thought of calling her but chucked the idea as I wanted to surprise her. But again, took my cell phone out to find a dead one. I smiled silently, imagining her crying yet smiling face on seeing me. I stopped on the way and bought a bunch of her favourite Gerbera flowers and Cadbury silk, which we both licked in competition. Even after three years of marriage, we still acted like high school teenagers living in the cocoon of love and playfulness. Love meant everything to us; we fought, we kicked, we licked, we cuddled, we ran, we stopped, we flied, and we filled infinite colours of joy in our lives. A drop silently made its way out of my eye, imagining the beautiful days I had lived with Neena and countless to come. As the driver pressed the brake pedal hard, my heart accelerated anticipating her smiling face.  When I reached my house, I was overwhelmed with tears flooding, only to feel how much I was loved. People hugged me but no one spoke. I hesitantly pushed the crowd, making way in to my bed room to see my Neena. In between, my mother stopped me, looking perplexed, tears rolling her eyes and uttered a meek line, ‘are you still alive?’, as if she was sad to see me alive. It didn't bother me. I walked hurriedly towards my bed room, which was crowded again - I wanted to shout, leave me and Neena alone for a while, I am alive – only to find my Neena lying on the bed all alone with eyes wide open and that soft white skin turned blue. They were waiting for the police to arrive and take her body. I was asked not to touch her. I did not move- stood there watching my beautiful Neena lay motionless- god knows for how long. 

Her father handed her suicide note to me, which read,

“Life started with Akash and so will death. I see no life without his presence. I promised to follow him and I will, no matter where he takes me. I am sorry dad and mom for this drastic step, but I am sure you will understand that I can’t survive a single second of my life without My love, My Akash”

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DOUBLE the salary!!!

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Shuttling between India and Jeddah has been a fun ride so far.

Two days ago when I boarded my flight from Mangalore to Mumbai (connecting airport), I was heavily immersed in reading a novel by Preeti Shenoy, where as my darling husband as usual was stuck with his laptop working on his current project. Anyways, this has become a routine. Me reading a book and my husband romancing with his laptop every where, be it airport, cab, waiting lounge or way above clouds.

When you are reading a novel, you feel at a completely different level and so many thought processes go hand in hand. During the flight, after lots of chained thoughts, I asked my husband "what is the salary of these air-hostesses??" . Like all husbands immersed in work, without even lifting his eye lashes, he said "I don't know". Even my childhood I asked numerous questions especially to my dad and most of them were beyond the realm of any answer. After marriage and so many years of adulthood, I shifted my focus from father to husband unable to let go off my annoying habit. Initially my husband appreciated this, answering my every question but when he realized my questions never ended at an answer he started developing a habit of saying I DON'T KNOW. But I wanted to know their salary out of so many on going thought processes inside my head. So I asked him again, "can you guess?" and he got irritated and replied, "how am I supposed to know?". Being the stubborn one I didn't give up.

 "May be 20 thousand a month?" I asked waiting desperately for an answer

"not 20.. slightly more" he said still concentrating on his work


"I think it is more"


"You won't leave me alone. I don't know. May be one to one and half lakh per month"

Now my curiosity doubled. "Why do they pay air-hostesses so much when they do nothing but serve food, take the plates and give some instructions. Is it because they are always flying and at a riskier job? or is it because they don't get to spend much time with family? because if we consider only work they don't deserve this high salary". Now my husband had to stop working and answer all my questions. He talked about people management and all. But my brain wasn't satisfied. It kept pummeling questions at my husband, like what sort of people management they do when the people who travel is flights are so well mannered etc etc. Finally, my husband kept quiet and sucked in to his work.

When I boarded my international flight to Jeddah from Mumbai, I didn't know I was going to experience something so uncivilized during the flight. Previously, I had never faced any problems in business class but this was going to be my first economy class rough ride.

I was at the pinnacle of irritation when I observed the following:

1. People were not sitting in the seats allowed to them. They sat in others' seats and troubled all the passengers. Air-hostesses had to come and rearrange the seating for so many people.
2. Flight was about to take off and most of them had not even tied their seat belt and were wandering inside distributing food got from home. Once again air-hostess had to come and make them all sit.
3. When the flight was on the run away, an old lady from the front seat got up and walked till the end rows to get some water. I genuinely prayed for her to fall on the flight so that she never repeats it again. This time air-hostess came running and asked her to sit in the nearest seat. But the old lady was in no mood to listen. She literally argued when air-hostess was being protective about her safety. .
4. After half an hour juices were served and some people kept asking for more, while air-hostesses with a sweet smile on face, told "you got it already sir" but these people pushed their glasses in the front and ordered them to pour some more.
5. I don't know if it was a special day or in every flight people actually move so much. All the people were moving blocking the food trolley and yelling at air-hostesses for blocking their way. Aren't we supposed to get food during our flight? Why couldn't they see they were troubling the air-hostesses not vice versa.
6. Once again, history repeated!!! Before landing people were not in their seats and people who were in their seats had forgotten the concept of seat belts. Air-hostesses re-entered the battled field and fought bravely.
7. Finally, when the flight landed even before the seat belt signal was off, people were standing with their bags to rush outside. I actually wanted to scream by then and ask if all were nine months pregnant and water broken.

While getting down, the air-hostesses gave us all a sweet smile and waved good bye (even to those who troubled them).

I looked at my husband and said "one and half lakh is too less for these people. They should be paid double of their salary. They deserve it. I would have actually hit all those stupid uncivilized people (thanks to my lack of patience) but these women were so polite and gentle. They should be paid double for their people management skills and also, for their rock solid patience".

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bonding of Love over Borosil!!!!

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He knew she was angry. He being a moron, that he was, couldn't help but make her sad every time. It was their fifth anniversary and he had forgotten to bring her a present or even wish her. She had stormed out of the house late evening realizing he had completely forgotten about their special day. He knew her anger was justified. Living in a metro city like Bangalore, travelling hours in a day, life had become too complex and tiring for him. He had even forgotten his own name, he felt. But that was no excuse for forgetting his love, his family, his wife and that special day when he was bound to her for life. Life was too expensive and his wife liked expensive stuffs which he couldn't afford. She wanted life to be classy where as he wanted it to be comfortable. She craved for diamond earnings where as he didn't even get a silver anklet. But today he thought he would do something for her, something sweet and beautiful and of course classy!!!

When she reached home the dinner table was set. Room was lit with candles and her favorite expensive Borosil cook and serve - wares were decorated with mouth watering food cooked by him. She couldn't believe he had bought her that one present which she always begged for while shopping. He thought Borosil was an expensive name, where as she thought it bought dignity in to the household.

Two grill drop round casseroles were neatly kept on the dining table beside the candles. Mostaccioli pasta was dipped in juicy tomato basil pasta sauce, giving a divine reddish outlook to the bowl. Traces of minced cloves and garlic scattered all over the pasta, adding to its flavour. Yellow green diced fried bell pepper with sliced onions were just visible through the casserole. Chopped basil and Italian parley garnished the entire bowl with its simplicity and green and white colours. The pasta was served on Blue leafy Borosil melamine dinnerware and the moment she took the first spoon, it was heavenly.

The next item on the table was a drink, to cool down her temper. Two borosil vision glasses were ready with faloodas. Two scoops of pista ice cream were floating in the rich, bubbly rose milk along with blended ice cubes. Falooda sev made their way towards the bottom through the ice cream and crushed dry fruits. She liked dry fruits. It was a blend of Badam, Pista and cashew nuts. On top soaked basil seeds gave a different look to the falooda. They are tiny seeds, just swimming on top making the body cool on the first sip. A straw hung by the side of the glass and craved for her lips to taste the juicy ice cream flavoured falooda.

 When the dinner ended on a sweet note, she smiled and said, "I wish you forget our anniversary every year so that I get Borosil dinnerware and serveware along with deliciously cooked food by you, that too added with lots of love".

Do you want to impress your loved one?? Then check out the Borosil kitchenware and appliances :

This post is written as a part of IndiBlogger contest in association with Borosil - performs beautifully.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

An enchanting dream - Oman

My rucksack was packed tight and a suitcase hung by me closely. My heart was beating loudly and so did my i pod. I was nervous. I never travelled alone before, that too 1,298 miles. The same Mangalore international airport looked interesting and Muscat was, to be precise, 9 hours 35 minutes away. I boarded the 3:10 pm Jet airways 9W 432 to Mumbai and waited for 5 hours 20 minutes in Mumbai to board my 10:10 pm flight to the beautiful city of Muscat.

Scared. Anxious. Happy. Exuberant.

I was on my own for the next ten days in the heavenly land of Oman. My itinerary was well planned, hotel bookings were on time and my friend’s car was waiting with a driver at the airport.
Thanks to the one and half-hours’ time difference; I landed in Muscat the same day, only to catch some late night sleep. Next day was going to be different. I knew it, and I slept peacefully.
My itinerary was categorized based on the different places to visit, and then different activities to be done, and finally, to visit all the different variety of places including sea, desert, caves, valleys, forts and so on.

Day 1: Muscat
Muscat means “Anchorage” and it is an anchor between the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. Muscat is the capital city of Oman and known as Oman’s jewel. A true amalgamation of ancient cultural heritage with modern styles and contemporary architecture. Like it is said, be rooted but spread your branches. The roads were wide and flanked by green lawns and trees on either side. 
Muscat is known for Omani architectural mosques, forts, castles, towers, mountains, golden beaches and definitely, sand dunes.  I wanted to see all of them, at least one in each category.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque:
The first word came out of my mouth was “wow”. Its breath taking Islamic architecture from across the world and the grand interiors were beyond the vocabulary of any man. My eyes glued to every single detail and mind repeatedly humming, wow, wow and wow. It is so huge that it can accommodate about 6,500 worshippers in the main prayer hall (musalla) and 8,000 worshippers in the outer paved ground. Interestingly, the hand woven carpet in the prayer hall weighs about 21 tons and is the second largest in the world. And, also the chandelier above the prayer hall!

Omanta scuba diving academy:
With the fear of water, I avoided any diving possible. But this trip was to explore myself. Hence, next stop was Omanta. Omanta uses Daymaniyat islands as the primary dive sites. The pristine clear water with numerous aquatic lives was like reliving life all over again.

So after, the divinely experience I decided to hit the beach nearby.

Qurum beach:
Being born in the coastal I wasn't too enthusiastic about visiting a beach. Yet, I had to tick mark all the categories in my itinerary. I watched the sun set and relaxed on shore, listening to the waves and feeling happy about my day in Muscat.

Day 2: Muscat

Muttrah Corniche: 
I took an early morning stroll along the sea front from the fish souk to Riam Park. The lights glittered in the sea water and mountains stood right on my head. The scent of history was reverberating throughout the Corniche. Lots of shopping can also be done along the Corniche; however, I skipped that part. The fishermen were carrying their catches to sell. The entire view around the Corniche was the best of Muscat. Across the road from the fish soju is the Marina hotel which has a coffee shop on the top floor. I sipped my morning coffee after an invigorating walk.

Jalali and Mirani forts:  
The city of Muscat can be viewed through Fort Al Mirani and fort Al Jalali. Both are forts in the harbor of the city. Both being very close to each other, I quickly visited these two forts and looked at the beautiful city of Oman. The blue water and the stone walls signified the historic importance of these forts. After the capture of Muscat in 1552, the ottoman forces built Al Mirani fort, whereas Al Jalali fort was built by the Portuguese to protect the harbor from Ottoman forces in 1580's after Muscat had twice been sacked by them.

After visiting old Muscat, I re-entered the city of Muscat to get a taste of some contemporary entertainment.

Royal Opera House: 
Royal opera house reflects contemporary Omani architecture and has seating arrangement of about 1,100 people. Yes, it is largely built. With great architecture and beautiful interiors, the entire opera house had a different aura. Finally, when the music began I was not only transposed to a different world but also, experienced transcendence. It did feel spiritual as if I was listening to god. The performing artists were exceptional and combining with high quality acoustics made them only better. 

My final visit in Muscat was Al Alam Royal Palace.

Al Alam Royal Palace: 
The entry was restricted but the structure looked like a bride in the evening. The guards lowered the flags around sunset. I took lots of photographs and walked to the water towards west to capture the palace and fort in the background. 

After my two days visit in Muscat, I only wondered how these people build these monuments so beautifully and how do they maintain it so well. By the end, I couldn't decide which place I had liked the most. Everything was painstakingly beautiful.

Day 3: Nizwa

Nizwa is surrounded by mountains on all sides.  The conservative city of Nizwa adds a lot to the Islamic culture. It is one of the oldest cities in Oman and was once a center for trade, education, religion and art. Nizwa is also a center for date growing and it is also famous for donkey market!!!

Nizwa fort:  
Nizwa fort was built around 1650 and is considered to be the largest fortification in Oman. Nizwa fort speaks highly of Oman customs and trade. From the top, a breath taking view of Nizwa with the Friday mosque in the foreground is visible. Inside the fort there are small rooms and a prison and a date store. On the upper floor rooms are the Imam's living quarters. 

Nizma Souq: 
Nizwa Souq is known for its distinguished handicrafts and souvenirs which are not found elsewhere. Rich in its ancient culture, the sand coloured buildings crowded the market area. There were produce stalls, butchers, date shops, hardware stores, jewelry, pottery, gun shops mainly for hunting and also, khanjars.. But one thing came as a surprise that there were no women in the market apart from tourists. According to their tradition, women are supposed to cook and take care of children. While men do the shopping including the vegetables. So these men for sure know the “atta ka bhav” (price of wheat flour) unlike my husband!!!

Aflaj (plural) is underground aqueduct which ensures water supply for large scale agriculture in the dry land environment. Nizwa is built around a Falaj which is in use even till date. The source of Falaj is groundwater found in subsoil or valleys. 

Day 4: Bahla

The next day, we drove towards Bahla. Driver was speeding up via route 21 and it took 40 minutes to reach one more culturally inherit land. Bahla is famous for its fort and pottery making.

Bahla fort: 
This is situated at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. The old Bahla fort with its 12 km (seven miles) wall is the oldest fort in Oman and third largest wall in the world. The area rounded by the wall is called Oasis. However, the mud walls built on stone foundations are collapsing and so, UNESCO has taken special measures in preventing world’s one of the oldest heritage. 

Pottery making factory: 
If you want to shop for potteries then Bahla is your destination. It feels the potteries are fresh from oven. These people use the traditional pottery making methods using furnaces and chimneys. 

Finally, I visited Jabreen castle which is few miles away from Bahla.

Jabreen castle: 
This was built in 1670 for Imam Bil'arab when he switched the capital from Nizwa to Jabrin. He is buried here in one of the rooms on the ground floor. The rooms were cooler as it was designed to channel cool air around Imam’s living area. There are several rooms in Jabreen castle. Like the Nizwa fort even Jabreen castle has a prison and a date store. Adding on, there is a great view of the surrounding date plantations from the battlements on the top.

I retired early that day as I was extremely tired and sleep took over me instantly.

Day 5: Wahiba Sands

Wahiba Sands also known as Sharqiya Sands is a region of desert in Oman. The region is named for the Wahiba tribe. I had dedicated my day 5 completely to Wahiba Sands to enjoy every single bit of sand dunes and amazing stunts and stay there over night. The camp which was booked for me looked decent, basic and just suitable for my stay. Almost 40 kms inside a desert was itself worth an experience. I often complained about not seeing a desert and there I was amid the ocean of sands. Sea is about 140 kms away from Wahiba sands. There was vegetation on the desert which was least expected out of me. Huge golden sand dunes were spread across and an SUV was waiting for me to take on a ride. I was extremely excited like a small kid, jumping around. But once the ride started I started screaming too. It was literally crazy and by that, I mean everyone must do it. The driver seemed very experienced and SUV was floating in sand at an angle of 70 degrees. I had goose bumps!!! 

After the thrilling ride, I walked around the desert. My next attempt was camel ride. Now I was scared. I just didn't want to do it. Yet, forced myself in to experiencing something new and to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a rock and roll ride for me but I kept communicating with the camel to keep me safe. Finally, by the end of the day I started missing my husband looking at other couples. The place looked enchanting, with sands slightly faded in colour, with lights twinkling, moonlight spreading the romantic aura in the desert. 

I ate my dinner alone, thinking about my husband but I had five more days to explore. So, sleep was indeed my best friend. 

Day 6: Jebel Akhdar

Jebel Akhdar is at the heart of the Al Hajar Mountain range. Jebel Akhdar means the green mountain. As the climate is moist (though it is mostly desert) shrubs and trees are grown there and also, terrace farming is supported. Hence, it is called as “the green mountain”. Pomegranate, Apricot, Peach and Walnut are grown there and it is also famous for rose water extraction.  “Jebel Shams” is around 3,000 metres above sea level and it is not only the highest point in Jebel Akhdar but also in Oman.

When I reached the foot of Jebel Akhdar 4X4 was waiting for me along with company. Two of my friends from Muscat had decided to join me to escape from the hot weather. The sides of the mountains were carved for terrace farming and the winding roads led us to the top of the mountain. It took us almost four hours to reach the top. We passed several villages, plantations and farms. We stopped at several points and clicked numerous pictures and walked till our legs were tired. The best part of Jebel Akhdar is its cool and fresh breeze. When the summer was relentlessly torturing me throughout the journey, Jebel Akhdar felt like oasis in the desert. Hence, I wanted to stay there as long as I could. The views were extremely serene and beautiful from Diana’s point.

Finally, we decided to walk towards Jebel Shams. The route comprises of slopes and summits and when we thought the road ended it lead us to another slope and thus walking ended only when we reached the mountain top. The major attraction of Jebel Shams is its rocky promontories and steep gorges. There is also a large pool of water called “Wadi Al Nakhr”.  Falcon’s view made our eyes relax with the stunning panorama of the landscapes. It was worth the sight.

We were exhausted and decided to rest for the rest of the evening enjoying the cool weather, eating our packed food and chit chatting. The day ended on a happy and less lonely note!!!

Day 7 to 10: Salalah:

People had informed me Oman trip would be incomplete without Salalah. So once again on my own with a loyal driver I started my journey towards the beautiful Greenland of Salalah.

Day 7:

Though flights are available from Muscat, I decided to take a road trip from Nizwa (where I had stayed) to Salalah covering 882 kms and spending an entire day in the car clicking pictures and relaxing. Salalah is also a dry area like Muscat but due to Indian monsoons it turns in to a green heaven. Thankfully I was there right on time!!!

Day 8:

Salalah being famous for frankincense, I decided to first visit frankincense museum. The frankincense which is brought to baby Jesus in Nazareth is assumed to be from Salalah as the tree that produces it, the Boswellia Sacra, grows nowhere else. 

Museum of the Frankincense Land: 
This museum wasn't too big. I had limited time in hand and lots of things to cover. Within two hours a detailed tour was done. The museum is divided in to two exhibition halls - Maritime Hall and Historical Hall. Both these halls are organized in an enchanting way with lots of models and information regarding Frankincense trade. Photography was prohibited. 

Adjacent to Museum is the ancient port of Al-Baleed. All the ruins are carefully preserved and labeled. It is the first archaeological museum I ever visited and was touched by the story it unfolds. The former port, used to be surrounded by a trench and a defensive wall with gates in the west, south and east sides. At the western end of the site you can clearly make out the remains of the large court mosque. Originally there were 148 pillars, which were laid in rows of four, surrounding an inner courtyard. Al-Baleed is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Marneef cave:  
This is 47 kms from Salalah situated next to Al Mughasayl beach. When I reached there, something more than a cave was waiting for me. An impressive sea coast view, with fascinating blowholes (first time in my life) and the mountain just above the marneef cave makes it all worth the visit. However, I was expecting more from the cave but I was thrilled by the first sight of blowholes. I walked up hill and the scene was picture perfect. White sand sea, with blowholes like mini fountains made my day. 

Day 9:

Earth gravity controversy: 
I was too intrigued by this topic and had done my homework right, before my trip to Oman. This was one of the main reasons I had decided to stay for long in Salalah. We took the road from Salalah to Mirbat, drove about 60 Kms and near the sign board that read "11 Km Mirbat" & "63 Km Salalah" we took a left and about half a km drive I felt supernatural. There were no sign boards but my driver knew where to stop the car and change the gear to neutral. Without any accelerator, car started moving up the road against gravitational force. More like I was on a sci-fi movie. It was one of the best experiences in Oman.

Wadi Darbat: 
Salalah is famous for its greenery and wadis with sub-tropical palm trees, lush waterfalls and alluring mountain vistas. A river flows through here to the sea at Khor Rawri. I wanted to spend an entire day there. After looking at the deserted cities for so long, my eyes were bright with green. It was simply gorgeous. Apart from waterfalls, lakes there were some beautiful caves. Many cave chambers with old stalactites and stalagmites. At the end of the Wadi, there is a cave which is considered to be the largest natural cave in Oman. I was just speechless looking at the natural beauty that Oman was offering me. I sat silently soaked in the beauty of nature. 

Day 10:

My flight to Muscat was scheduled at 1 pm. So I decided to enter the Salalah Gardens mall and did some shopping (which I dislike) and left for airport.

Finally when I reached Muscat I was sad that the trip had ended but there was so much to see. Ten days’ time is too less to explore Oman. I badly wanted to visit Masirah Island, Musandam peninsula, Sur, Ibra, and Muscat geosites and many more. I was waiting to board my flight to India when the tired body was taken over by sleep.

I heard someone screaming, “Wake up, wake up. Why are you sleeping here?”

Oh god! Did I miss my flight?

Nah! I was at home and my husband was waking me up. The tour guide books were open, Laptop was showing pictures of Oman, lots of scribbled papers were scattered and I was sleeping amid the mess.
So was I dreaming all along or had I just returned from Oman? 

P.S: All the photos were downloaded from different sources via google.

For more details about Oman please check their tourism website :

This post was written as a part of IndiBlogger contest in association with the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman.