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Round Peg

Location: Muscat, Oman/ Bangalore, India

Round Peg....in a square hole. That describes me! All my life I have never quite fit in ... now I have just given up trying to live up to the expectations of the square hole or trying to find a round one!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Them and us

Two comments prompt this post.

The first. Chulupu’s comment to a post of mine on the trend of Indian maids converting to Christianity.

He says ‘I don’t know if you all know this. According to Islam religion, we are not allowed to eat food made out of the Hands of Non Muslim and No(n) Christian. As a result many maids pose to be Muslims or Christians.’’

The second, a comment by my neighbour who is looking for a maid. I recommended Khadija. The neighbour waffled around a bit and finally blurted out - ‘We do a lot of pooja (worship) at home and we would ideally prefer a Hindu to be around our articles of worship but a Christian will do’.

The sentiments underlying both the comments are similar, but each comment is from across the fence as it were!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

M K Yusuf, Sam Walton of Muscat?

The Khimji Mart in Madinat Qaboos (Hay Al Rahba, Muscati!) is doing very well.

Particularly the vegetable section which every body says is– ‘as cheap as Lulu’.

The Lulu Hypermarket, about 2 years old in Muscat, has then become a benchmark for retail players.

Time was when the only (good) vegetable selection for people in and around Madinat Qaboos and Al Khuwair was Khalijana. The vegetables were (and are) very good but prices high.

Many actually preferred the Wadi Kabeer vegetable market since prices there are supposedly very low compared to Khalijana. Even so, Khalijana used to be full of people.

Lulu changed all that. Now Khalijana is often empty and what is more prices have fallen. Avowed Wadi Kabeer goers have transferred loyalties to Lulu.

With all its faults, Lulu has offered people a good alternative. Shopping in pleasant environs at low prices and within city limits. And it has forced other stores to drop prices and up service. Way to go, Sam Walton would have approved!