Since your’s faithfully does moonlight as a columnist, one realised that the TT does ‘warren’ a closer look and we couldn’t really have ‘dunaway’ with it. Having done so, attempting to make today the beginning of the fourth month, would have been like ‘beattying’ around the bush or maybe ‘chazelling stone’.
So, welcome actually to the third month of the year - or, if you were born before 150BC, the first! According to the oldest Roman calendars, one year was ten months long, beginning in March and ending in December. It may sound a bit strange, but one can still see vestiges of this old system in our modern calendar: Because December was originally the tenth month, it was named ‘decem’ meaning ten in Latin, as was September named ‘septem’ meaning seven.
However, January and February were just two nameless months called “winter,” proving that winter was literally so awful it didn’t even deserve a spot on the calendar. Obviously, if we in the Middle East were to have designed the calendar, the sum of the summer months may have been chopped off, despite their august presence.
So, welcome to March which supposedly comes “In like a lion, out like a lamb”, and so what if ‘Lion’ got ‘dev’astated by ‘Ali’ and sundry at the Oscars? As you can see, I am still lamenting Dev Patel’s loss to Mahershala Ali. While the lion of winter still roared, a band of 20 went up to Jebel Akhdar (part of the Al Hajar mountains) for two days of rest and recuperation and to experience what winter is really all about.
With due apologies to the Bard, this was not our ‘winter of discontent’ but of our content, when the so called Muscat-Dubai gang (technically Muscat and ex-Muscat-now living-in-Dubai gang) had their long overdue reunion. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the early teens, the Anantara resort was over the top of the mountain without being over-the-top per se, the service was par-excellence (Maher and Blaze need special mention for their ability to get anything and everything organised before one could say “Jack Robinson”…oh ok, before one could say “Srinivas Subramanyam Ramanujam”!) and the company was absolutely delightful, as it always is, whenever the gang gets together.
The leisurely breakfasts followed by the longish walks to the village, the basking in the sun reliving the good old days, the pampering received at the spa where the therapist managed to untie knots in the body that one didn’t know were tied or knotted, the nip in the air as one ushered in the sunsets, followed by the dinners on the balcony where ambrosia and the nectar of the Gods were served to mere mortals, transporting them to what Milton called “Paradise Regained”.
Thank you fellow Anantarans for your delightful company and the amazing three days; and to the ex-Muscat-now-living-in-Dubai gang…hopefully will see you all sooner, rather than later! And in honour of a dear friend who left us two years ago, without really giving us an opportunity to properly say good-bye, this Saturday we shall play in the “Arjun Raha Memorial Cup,” which has now become an annual event hosted by Mr Brian Ritchie.
Rest in eternal peace Arjun…after the round of golf, we shall raise a toast or two or three in your favourite Club with your favourite friends, quaffing your favourite quaff.
And before I sign off, a few random thoughts:
- Do you know that there are some people who really need auto correct when they speak?
- Do you know that there are some people who should just continue talking, as some day they may probably say something intelligent?
- Do you know that I actually quite like the sound of some people not talking?
Till next fortnight...and though technically today is not really his birthday, I still need to wish this 29 Feb born, a Very Happy Birthday. As your birthday gift Nick, will let you win today’s round of golf!