With holidays coming up amidst a partial lockdown, both citizens and expatriates know well that they cannot move around as they used to during the Eid break. They have started using their free time to engage in favourite pastimes and catch up with old hobbies.
Among the post popular leisure interests of people are reading books, magazines and classics, and trying their hands at culinary skills, photography, music and writing poetry.
Mohammad al Farsi, a housing facility manager from Duqm, said he had always been a passionate musician.
“I play the guitar. Though I did not take any formal classes from any school, I am a YouTube student. My favourite progression is G Major and strumming pattern I follow is waltz. All these days I admired Bob Marley and have been humming some of his hits. During this time I’ll use my time wisely to get proper chords for his songs and practise them with the guitar.”
He said he has Audition, a popular software, which he hasn’t used much.
“I think I can use this time to learn more about it.”
Vinod Baboo Raghavan has always been an avid reader. Working as a media consultant, he hardly has time for his hobbies.
In addition to reading some fictions and magazines, Raghavan said he is looking forward to finishing My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk.
“My work and new ventures round the year hardly gave me the time to read. People say that reading is obsolete but I think if you are interested you can make it the best pastime. I seriously believe the adage ‘Reading makes you perfect’.
“I plan to finish My Name is Red. The novel concerns miniaturists in the Ottoman Empire of 1591. I bought it at the airport a few years back; sadly I didn’t have time for it. I also plan to read some science magazines that were gifted to me.
“I love any books, and anything related to political history and science fascinates me.”
Afrah al Musalmy, a housewife, said during Eid she is happy to have her family by her side and she will manage her time to fine-tune her hobby for which she has been popular among her family and friends.
Afrah writes – mostly on family, love and nature.
With a hint of patriotism, Afrah speaks of Oman’s rich heritage and landscapes.
She said, “This time with lockdown and peace all around and less noise, I will be able to focus on my new poems. I am trying to experiment with new patterns and rhythms. I’m fond of haikus [a Japanese poetic form] and trying to write Arabic poems in that style. I am also reading old Arabic poems as well as works of authors like Rumi and [Kahlil] Gibran. Their styles inspire me; though I am not imitating anyone I would like to draw inspiration from them. I am writing on my life as well as my family.”
Sayeed al Abri, a student and a job-seeker, wants to capture the moments in his optical instrument.
He bought a new DSLR camera a few weeks back and is taking YouTube classes. Abri is planning to shoot everything from life to sunsets to flowers and insects.
He says, “My uncle is my model. I ask him to pose in different styles and dresses in different times of the day. It is good that even he is free now from his job and because we all are locked inside it is the best time to experiment all that I have learnt. It is good for all of us because we can frame some good pictures as well.”