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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!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Surprised in Muscat


This was amongst the first signboards I saw in Muscat. I was shocked.

I never expected to see a Hindu Indian name on a signboard. Not that Asha has any Hindu connotations. Asha means hope but the word has its roots in Sanskrit, the ancient language in which Hindu texts are written.

My reference point was Doha where there used to be an Indian restaurant called Ashoka.

The word Ashoka has no Hindu connotations either. Having its roots in Sanskrit, Ashoka means free from sorrow.

But history speaks of a great Indian king called Ashoka. Circa 3 BC, he ruled over a sizeable portion of South Asia. After a particularly bloodthirsty battle, history says he was so overcome by the death, loss and destruction war entails, Ashoka resolved never to go to war again. He turned to Buddhism and from that time onwards dedicated his reign towards promoting peace and non-violence. He was a great king by any standards.

But authorities in Doha took exception to the ‘Hindu’ name of the restaurant and the owners were forced to change it. It was renamed Alshoka and probably still stands on C-Ring Road.

It was against this background that I gaped at the signboard that proudly read Asha Enterprises. That was the first time I tipped my hat to Oman. That’s when I knew we would come to love Oman as if it were our home country.

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Blogger Marthyan said...

You are right Oman does have a few Indians who are now Omani citizens.
Wasn't it an Omani prince who had his graduation in India and was apparently taught by late Indian President Shankar dayal sharma

5:08 PM, May 04, 2006  

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