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Vol.1 Issue 13II May 7-20, 2010 23 Jumada I- 6 Jumada II

Marhoon: No disability down under p15 B&W Sudoku Competition p8 Things women should never tell a man p68


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Men are better drivers Women are not better drivers than men! If that is the point you were trying to send across (Drive it like women, issue 12), then you are wrong! Otherwise, if you were just using this theme to provoke bad drivers or shaking awake the lethargic drivers on the road to this reality, well and good. But, my point is that if men are seen to cause more accidents and are dying more on the roads, it is simply because they are more in numbers on the streets of Oman. I am not trying to be a chauvinist here, but, I can clearly say that men are better, safer more intelligent and roadsavvy drivers! Anyway, great effort! If you manage to change at least one irreverent driver into a caring one, and if you manage to save at least one driver from dying on the roads, you would have a successful campaign in your hands. Ali Al Harthy, Seeb

Safer future for people on the roads I absolutely love the article (Drive it lke women! issue 12)! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very informative and there is a lot of information there. I am so excited and also relieved that others are taking part in this cause too. I recently created a Facebook group ( php?gid=109626442408139) about bettering traffic conditions and I have received over 100 fans in two days. I hope this group will continue to grow! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve taken the time to post some pictures and snippets of advice on the group. I am really excited to play a small part in your road safety campaign. I hope the future brings a change in drivers in Oman! Torey Beth Jackson, (Former student of Azzan bin Qais Private School)

10 May 7-20, 2010

Bitter Truth True, ‘beauty is skin deep’ and’ beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’, all these are well said and done. But the fact of the matter is we are judged by the way we look. That’s why your article,’ Don’t judge a woman by her cover’ (issue 11), made me sit up and read it all over again. To actually read it in black and white, no pun intended, where an unbiased opinion is given about both sides of the topic was good. We always like to paint a pretty picture and not face the harsher aspects of life and in the bargain women get a raw deal. If a man has a receding hair line he’s considered scholarly but a woman has to get it fixed. A man with a paunch looks well settled but a woman looks fat and flabby. There have always been double standards. But women these days are not encumbered by these trivial views placed by men or fickle-minded women and have proven their mettle in all fields. What they lack in physical strength they make up in character and strong will. Therefore, you see women in the fore front of things and are proud of it. Looks take a back seat when there are more compelling things to achieve. Leena Johnson, Al-Hail

Mail your views and opinions at

Contact: Mr. Sanjay Jasani, Mob: 92512930, Email:

Black & White 11

Xclusive The rainforest of Barka you think Barka is hot and dry, you 36 Ifcould be so wrong!

Cover Photo: Najib Al Balushi

Bitter Batter Discounts and freebies! This is a market that lives and thrives on discounts. As the saying goes, some people are ready to do anything for discounts, even pay for it!

Why are your mothers more important than oursâ&#x20AC;Ś Here are some queries that we men would like you women to answer. We have compiled a dozen or so questions and if you have the answer to all of them, we are not going to give you a prize




Published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC Black & White BPA Consumer Postal address: P O Box 86, PC 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos Audit applied for Office location: Hatat House, Office no: 212, II Floor December 2009 Ph: 24565697 Fax: 24565496 Website: Editorial:

Editor-in-chief Managing editor Work editor Design & production Photographer Advt. & marketing

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Priya Arunkumar Adarsh Madhavan Beneek Siraj Najib Al Balushi Rajeev Kalle, Swithun Fernandes, Ali Al Raisi

All about X, Y & Z

We're going to SUDOKU By Adarsh Madhavan Visitors to our office in Hatat House (second floor, 212) would have heard the sales guys doing ad-speak with a different name sell. In the sense, they would have heard the sales gang sitting in dark corners and saying that they are calling from ‘Footprints’… Whoa, what is happening, one would wonder. Footprints? Whatever happened to Black & White? FIRST-EVER TRAVEL MAGAZINE Nothing folks. Black & White is safe and sound. What we have is an exciting addition to the Black & White fold. A new magazine. A brand new quarterly travel magazine, which is the first of its kind in Oman called Footprints. And we guarantee that the 80 pages, 12,000 copies Footprints is going to leave an imprint in the hearts and minds of everyone. Well, we hope so…This first travel magazine of its kind in Oman has the blessings of the ministry of tourism and in fact, the foreword is by Dr Rajiha Abdulamir Ali. Black & White has launched the Footprints in association with Zahara Travel Group, a top travel and tourism group in Oman, who have always felt the need for such a publication.The Footprints was launched to coincide with the recent ATM in Dubai.

FIRST SUDOKO COMPETITION IN OMAN No, no, don’t go away. We have one more little unveiling to do: Black & White is also planning the first-ever Sudoko competition in Oman. We hope to run this fun and exciting competition sometime late this month. This will be a competition, which is open to all. We will give you more information on the competition soon. We just want all enthusiasts to grab this opportunity and join the Sudoko action… (See page 9 for the entry form.) B&W EVERY SEVENTH AND 21ST Now, now, I think we have forgotten to start this column…too late for it now as we have got one more tidbit of information before we close this piece. We have been thinking about this for sometime now and we have come to the decision that our fortnightly, Black & White, will be out every seventh (7th) and 21st of the month (instead of first – 1st – and 30/31. What do you think? Don’t you think it is a good idea? We can include more info on happenings in town the coming months, instead of relegating it to the background…what do you say? Your comments are most welcome! And even if you don’t comment, you are most welcome. So there!

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HE 22

All work and no playâ&#x20AC;Ś? Are you telling excuses, lies and convincing yourself that you are created to face upcoming challenges of your corporate? Well, then accept it! You are a workaholic


Love for jeans fashion is easy. 24 Male Take a look around you,

All votes for caring men

For Him

The trends are changing. Women prefer caring men to macho selfish ones. Men out there, are you listening? Being a macho doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work anymore.

14 May 7-20, 2010

no matter where they are at, what time it is, you will realise that men are always wearing jeans. A pair of jeans pants never goes out of fashion like all very comfortable, useful and versatile things.

Out of the WHEELCHAIR and into the BLUE He dove into the pool, touched the bottom and came up, almost exulting. He frolicked in the water with others and was in a real state of joy when suddenly his eyes fell on his wheelchair… “In the water, I had forgotten that I was handicapped, until I saw my wheelchair…” (as recounted to Black & White by a key supporter of the Oman Association for the Disabled - OAD).

Black & White 15

Playground 16 May 7-20, 2010

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Marhoon Batti Al Ghafri, 40, who is also disabled, agrees. However, there is not a trace of negativity in him. “In the water, I can go backwards, forward, up, down, side – everywhere. What freedom! The great thing about scuba diving for someone like me is that it offers unlimited freedom in the water, the like of which I will never have on land. Also, in the water, I am the same as everyone else. That is a great feeling,” Marhoon tells Black & White, as he wheels himself to a comfortable corner at the OAD.


MARHOON IS UNABLE to conceal his delight in finally finding an environment where he, and those like him, are able to throw off their constraints and be one with the rest of the world. “It was a discovery beyond my imagination,” he tells us. “For once, I feel that I am not penalised for being disabled,” he adds. This feeling is typical of many who are disabled. Unable to do many of the things considered normal are the disabled, quite often depressed. But, like Marhoon, there are many who are now immersed in the scuba diving theme because it has been a voyage of discovery for them, an opportunity to become free. Scuba diving has become a focus of sport for the disabled and is considered now not only as a recreational activity, but also a source of rehabilitation for them. Marhoon was not born disabled. He is a victim of polio. But, the remarkable aspect of Marhoon is that he has managed to take disability in his stride. “I was affected by polio when I was very young. I was going to school then, and when I became disabled, I had a difficulty in adapting to it. Everyone around me also voiced the same concern and I did face some distressing moments then. 18 May 7-20, 2010

But, disability, is again, not here (he gestured at his disabled limbs) but, in here (he pointed to his head). That much I understood and that is how I decided to stop worrying about my disability and went ahead with my life!” Which he did. He completed his studies and then got himself a job in the administration department of Oman Air. He jokingly recounts how he went about obtaining a driving license. He had several hiccups in this area, until at last, he was able to convince the authorities concerned that he could indeed drive. “Today, I can proudly and confidently say that I can drive anywhere in Oman. I am from Ibri and I drive every weekend to my village there. Every Khareef, I am in Salalah and I drive and come back from there. “I even travel abroad – alone!” Sometime back, Marhoon was watching an episode on the television, which featured disabled divers diving deep. This was playing in his mind since then and when an opportunity presented itself for Marhoon to go scuba diving he just grabbed it with both hands. “I was of course nervous, especially because of my condition. But, the German team that came in to train took us all in to a pool and started training us.

It was just a three-day training programme and they announced that two members will be selected for an advanced training in the sea.” Marhoon was shocked when the team announced his name as one of the two selected. “I felt very proud and good. We were taken to the Barr Al Jissah beach and were trained diving at the sea. This was an unbelievable experience. I have no words to describe it.” Today Marhoon swears on scuba diving and describes how it changed his life, his perspective. “When we are underwater, it is a totally different experience. I feel like I am in another world. I have no fear, only the freedom to be part of nature. The unbelievable sights down under; the fascinating underwater life…it was all an out of the world experience for me. NO DISABILITY DOWN UNDER “When I was down there, I felt full, complete like anyone else underwater. You are not disabled down there!” Marhoon said, adding how difficult it was for him to get out of the pool or the sea. “When the instructors ask us to come out of the pool, we would ask them for some more time…we never wanted to get out!” Asked if he wanted to be a certified scuba diver in the future, he nodded in the affirmative. “Inshallah, maybe sometime in the future, I might be able to become a proper scuba diver,” he said. Black & White 19

All votes for


The trends are changing. Women prefer caring men to macho selfish ones. Men out there, are you listening? Being a macho doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work anymore.

20 May 7-20, 2010

They say a man who has learned not to feel fear will find the fatigue of daily life enormously diminished. You won’t be ridiculed for watching a cartoon, or joining a yoga class. So, throw away your fears, indulge in basic good things… and you will never be alone!

Here are five things a man should never fear about:






You may feel as if you’re trapped in an endless self-empowerment workshop. But you’ll also probably be the only man in a hot, enclosed space full of beautiful women in clingy clothing. But, try it out, yoga is good for body, mind and soul. And the heart of course!

All of us are kids inside, so why not live like a kid? Choose your favourite cartoon, enjoy with your loved one at your home. The other advantage is a solid relationship with nerd culture will enable you to connect with nephews and sons. The truth is cartoon isn’t going away.

Who says men are supposed to hang around with those big ferocious breeds? The new line to adopt is If you can take care of a pug, you can take care of anything.

It is fun eating the street cart food. It will not lower your image, maybe a little gastrointestinal distress may increase slightly, but it’s immensely satisfying to eat out at a most basic level. You could discover a brand-new taste that will change the way you think about many things.

This could mean a drink at the kitchen table, a long, relaxing bath, and an early bedtime. Or you could revel in the solitude and freedom. On weekends, everything is more crowded and expensive. Go out on a Saturday, for a change. Black & White 21


All WORK and no PLAY…?

22 May 7-20, 2010

My soul is dying… Sleep is difficult… I am addicted beyond control… I cannot live without stress, power, control, and aggravation. I have an inability to think of anything other than deals, meetings and presentations. I get drained by the end of the day, or should I call it night? But, no regrets, I am paid for my addictions! But, I want to quit. I want to… Or do I want to at all?

Does this sound familiar? Are you telling excuses, lies and convincing yourself that you are created to face upcoming challenges of your corporate? Well, then accept it! You are a workaholic. And it’s an addiction like any other. Only difference is you are actually paid for your addictions!

LIKE ANY OTHER ADDICTIONS, it is tough to quit, because you have to do it while continuing to work. But cure is not far away, if you take the first step… You have nothing to lose and lots to gain. The first step is not big, it is just the acceptance that you are addicted to work and you cannot live without the overload. The acceptance will help you quit ultimately. Here are few simple tips to freedom: STOP BEING A CONTROL FREAK Learn to accept that you cannot control everything in this world. Workaholics are always in pursuit of perfect solutions to the problem of existence. That’s why they try to control everything within their scope. The trick is stop being a control freak. Let it be. Not all problems need to be solved. NEVER MISS A PERSONAL EVENT Start believing that there are many things in life that are more important than work. Birthdays, weddings, get-togethers, dinners are all meant to be. Annual sales meetings can wait too, sometimes. There are other people in office. If you’re serious about overcoming your addiction, use the team to get the job done. APOLOGISE, MAKE AMENDS Make a list. Check out how many people you ignored in the last six months because of your addiction to work. Start making amends. If you have kids, start there. How about dear old Mom, who you haven’t seen since her last birthday? MAKE A NEW SCHEDULE Your organiser needs to be updated. This time replace work with other things that will give you satisfaction. This may be the most difficult step of all. But, enjoy what you are scheduling for the day with the equal passion you put in to work schedules. PASS IT ON Now that you have started the process of de-addiction, let your fellow workaholics know too. Let them know there are better things to do other than work!

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Male fashion is easy. Take a look around you, no matter where they are at, what time it is, you will realise that men are always wearing jeans. A pair of jeans pants never goes out of fashion like all very comfortable, useful and versatile things.

24 May 7-20, 2010

JEANS CAN SOMETIMES be a 24/7 choice for men because of its versatility; the same jeans you wear for shopping can look great on a night out, and maintain your professional image intact at office, as long as you follow these simple pointers: Always choose jeans your size and fit. Do not wear jeans that are too loose or too tight. Baggy may be comfortable, but it’s also sloppy, while tight jeans scream high school. Your work jeans should match your maturity, and fit as well as your trousers do. Choose simple jeans, not too flashy, not too fashion. Do not confuse your jeans with formal wear. So never wear a tie and a formal shirt with a jean. Jeans don’t seem right when you try to replace them for suit pants. Try a cotton button-down shirt, knit tie, and blazer with jeans.

If you take off your jacket, you’ll still carry it off. As a rule avoid acid wash jeans (far too 80s) and brightly coloured jeans. Very dark or black jeans, however, can look good if they’re worn appropriately. Try wearing black or grey jeans with a white shirt for a smart, sharp look. Faded jeans are the safest bet, and colours like blackwash, stonewash and vintage are ideal. Slim fit jeans are similar to straight leg but cut a bit closer to the body. This means these work well on slim men and those who want a fashionable look. When it comes to shopping for jeans most men will just grab the first thing in their size, but jeans deserve much more time and effort than that, because you can wear them again and again, and a good pair of jeans should last a long time.

HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO AVOID ABSOLUTELY •Wrinkling in the back of the thigh - too tight •Roll above the waistband - too tight, too low •Excessive emphasis on hips and saddlebags - too narrow

Black & White 25

Omanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first premier travel magazine



Out on the stands

Off the wall

Common man or 'Apna Admi'? The couple chose a yellow shirt, turned to me and asked me how much it cost. I looked at it, hemmed and hawed, then noticed the price tag and told them the price. “No discounts?” the lady asked. I looked at them and began to say, actually, you know…but they cut me short: “Every shop gives discounts, so you have to give!” But, but, I spluttered, until some blue shirt, dark blue tie (d) guy came to my rescue. He was the salesman there, while I was also the customer like this couple, except my blue shirt put me on the wrong foot. They thought I was a salesman. It is not just because of the blue shirt(s)…(of course, I have one too many of them) but, I have that look that makes me part of the furniture (and most people are ready to sit on it too)! But, yet again, I should have ignored the couple when they asked me the rate for the shirt, given them a cold stare, huffed and walked away muttering under my breath to them to contact a salesman. Instead the foolish, d-uh, helping mentality in me surfaced at the wrong turn, like a diver surfacing just in front of a speed boat! But, this has always happened to me. I walk into a clothes shop and someone comes and asks me how much the red shirt costs. Earlier, I used to wear a tie and my shirt would quite often match the ones the salesmen were wearing. Now, I don’t even wear a tie and yet… I walk into a grocery and they would want me to weigh their apples for them, or ask me to get a basket for them, or some such thing. It maybe the ornery look on my face, or it maybe the dumb, neither here, nor there feeling that I have when I enter these places. Sometimes, I stand almost like a mannequin at the clothes shops, or retail outlets in hypermarkets like Lulu wondering what to do there, and why have I walked into these markets. Luckily, none of the salesmen came and changed my clothes and put on new ones thinking I am a dummy. I stand out of my office building for a breather and someone comes to me and either, ask me for a lighter, or ask me whether they could direct me to


By Adarsh Madhavan


he ft


some office (the name of which I have never heard before)! I rack my brain to find out whether I have seen such a name, but nothing flares up from that dark pit of my brain made darker with such grey incidents. Things get dumber and dumber when you walk on the streets of a new place you are visiting and in the next instant, you have someone walking to you and asking which was the direction to the Appentwhich village and you don’t even know how to pronounce it. Things get vaguer (and vaguer) when they come and introduce themselves to me or backslap me and you can’t seem to figure out who is this jovial fellah and you wonder whether it was polite to ask him for his business card. I try to escape by offering my business card with the story that surely you would not be having my card and they would turn around and ask me what was he going to do with two of the same cards, as he displays my card, given to him some Godforsaken hour, and it is not even dog eared like mine. R. K. Laxman (cartoonist) would have loved me. I would have been the modernday common man. Which is not a bad thing at all, except for these quibbles that I have against the situation my commonness gets me. My commonness must be an uncommon factor because, to many people, I am always someone they know. Or, for that matter, I seem to look like someone they know. Now should I be proud of that or should I sue my parents for making me as common as the next-door man?

Black & White 27

We have been thinking of it since quite sometime now. Finally, we have taken the plunge to bring home to you some offbeat stuff. Here goes, if you like it, give us the green signal for more; if not, just take it with a pinch of salt. For this fortnight, here is some nitter natter for the B&W Bitter Batter:

Wanted rules to rein in media discounts


All sheeps and no lions?

28 May 7-20, 2010

Discounts and freebies! This is a market that lives and thrives on discounts. As the saying goes, some people are ready to do anything for discounts, even pay for it! Well, jokes apart, discounting takes on an ugly new turn when it becomes undercutting. The undercutting scene was rampant in the travel arena, especially to the Indian sectors (from Oman) with the airlines and the travel agencies, slashing their rates to woo in customers. The passengers benefited. Of course, new rules and regulations reined in the rampant discount scene and slowly, a semblance of sanity prevailed in that sector. But, today, the ugly head of undercutting is rising from an entirely new area: the newspaper advertising scene. Rank new and

unknown companies arise out of nowhere to get major accounts, while reputed and established advertising agencies are left high and dry with no kitties in their bags! And the latter’s fault? They are not willing to commit suicide by offering double the prevailing discounts! “Agencies are killing the media houses, instead of supporting them; they want us to undersell, they are offering us five ads for the price of one…” a media sales manager told Bitter Batter. Shouldn’t the media fraternity be up in arms against these flyby-night operators and say ‘NO’ to these one-timers who believe that it is only discounts and commissions that matter? If we don’t, won’t we all be losing in the long run?

“The newspapers and magazines in town disappoint me,” an irate reader told us the other day. “You read one, you read them all. What is wrong with the media houses in Oman today? Is there a dearth of topics in Oman? One media publishes a story, and then all others scramble for the same! Don’t take us readers for granted just because we have no choice.

Most of you have the same attitude - follow like sheep, imitate like monkeys …” Aiyo, we thought. Why was this man attacking us? We did not do anything of that sort. “Not you guys,” he said. “But, then, you guys are all one and the same, right?” he asked after that. We don’t know what that meant. Over to you, people.

Hiding behind skirts

All that is gold does not glitter

Who cannot criticise in this world? But, it takes lot of spine to stand up and say what you want to (on the face of those you are criticising). Or you could take the easy way out. Join the bandwagon of Omani bloggers who are bitter about everything and everyone, but, operate behind covers! They are supposed to be the best in town, but do they actually exist? Why don’t they come out in the open? Why are they ranting and raving and fuming and fretting under the cloak of anonymity? Why are they confined to their virtual arm chairs?

A ‘golden’ lady wanted us to know why some jewellers were ‘advertising’ (posters yaaki) fashionable jewellery in their shops when they did not have the same items in their shops? Beats us, but we will ask the jewellers, we said. And we did. But the jewellery shops had a different thing to say; they told us that they never dared advertise their jewellery collections, which were not in town. One of them told us how they wanted to put an ad in the newspapers about

their forthcoming collection, but, somehow they couldn’t so far. Why not, we asked and they told us how difficult it was to bring the jewellery in because of the high rates charged. “You think it is easy; you think we sell the gold at very high rates and make a big profit? Not at all, not at all,” he said, shaking his head. Okay, now, what do we tell this lady who made this complaint to us, we asked. The golden man suddenly turned blue and black and he threw us out of his shop! Ouch! Black & White 29

HONDA CIVIC 5 door arrives in Oman For those customers looking for something out of the ordinary, the Civic 5 Door will be the ideal choice. Its design combines the emotional styling of a sleek and sporty three door and functionality of a five door. With clever use of interior space, excellent driving performance, superb comfort and outstanding quality, the Civic 5 Door is a versatile car that delivers maximum joy of driving for its customers.

Injaz Telecom launches Wordpress


Injaz Intemational Telecom Co LLC launched the first ever mobile phone service designed and aimed exclusively at Indians recently. The launch was held under the auspices of Anil Wadhwa, Indian ambassador. 30 May 7-20, 2010

The new mobile phone service, named Apna Mobile (meaning â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;our mobileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in Hindi) is unique as it is the first mobile brand exclusively dedicated to the large Indian community in Oman.

KENYA AIRWAYS flies to Nairobi Kenya Airways has launched direct flights from Muscat to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. The airline is operating three weekly flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday to Nairobi. This introduction brings to 48 the number of destinations that Kenya Airways flies to. "The new flights will enable

the residents of Oman to enjoy the magnificence of African Safaris by taking advantage of stopovers and safari packages to passengers going on their vacation to Europe and India as well,” said Abraham Joseph, KA area manager, AGCC, Middle East and Pakistan. “The launch fares introduced

start at RO130, for round trip tickets to Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam and other major destinations. There is a 'Buy 3, Get 1 free' promotional offer starting from RO480 (for a group of four passengers) to all major destinations, said Prince Jacob, sales manager, UAE and Oman.

OMAN MOBILE new unlimited Mada packages Omantel Ceo Dr Amer Al Rawas officially launched Oman mobile’s 'Unlimited' price plans with the introduction of its Mada Liberty and Mada Infinity packages recently. Mada Liberty is Oman’s first ever pay per call service with the plan priced at just four rials per month and offering unlimited duration of calls made to Omantel and Oman Mobile numbers at a fixed price.


to open four stores in Oman

Dr Noel J. Guckian, British ambassador officially inaugurated the new WHSmith store at Jawarat Al Shatti in the presence of Rishi Khimji, managing director, business development, Ajit Khimji Group LLC and Ajit Singh, general manager, retail, Asha Enterprises LLC, members of the media and other delegates recently. Another three outlets would be open at the Muscat international airport by now. The new stores are a result of a partnership between The Ajit Khimji Group LLC and WH Smith PLC. The

former Turtles bookshop outlets have been converted to WHSmith and the range of merchandise on offer greatly expanded. Black & White 31

Multiple CRUISE SHIP calls make waves




A conservation campaign to encourage consumers and commercial organisations to reduce their electricity usage during summer was launched in Oman recently. Pioneered by the Electricity Holding Company, the campaign targets high users such as businesses and the wider Omani population. It will primarily aim to considerably reduce electricity usage in this year’s peak summer months, with a particular focus on air conditioning. Karl Matacz, the Ceo of the Electricity Holding Company said, “In very simple terms we are urging everyone to turn their air-conditioning from 18 degrees to 23 degrees. By doing this across the country we will save huge amounts of energy and help to reduce demand during the peak hot weather periods.”

Muscat’s Port Sultan Qaboos played host to a trio of luxury cruise liners over the weekend, affording passersby along the corniche a spectacle more reminiscent of European ports; now increasingly a trend in Oman ports as well. Costa Luminosa, an Italian cruise liner, and Brilliance of the Seas and The World of the United States came calling on simultaneous visits to Muscat. The presence of three elegant liners gracing the historical harbour not only made for a splendid sight but also underscored the city’s enduring appeal as a stopover for a growing number of international cruise ships. Leading destination and leisure management company Zahara Tours led the welcome for the three liners when they arrived in port at the weekend.


HYUNDAI SANTA FE The recently launched New Hyundai Santa Fe has made quite an impression on the customers. The new more powerful Hyundai Santa Fe now comes with a V6 3.5 Liter Engine and with 280 horsepower. Adding new dimensions to lifestyle SUVs with off road capabilities, it offers a lot more - it is more powerful, more up-market, better driving comfort, more luxurious and friendly ergonomics. The exterior & interior styling is just awesome. Customers were really excited to see this more powerful next generation vehicle. OTE Group is the exclusive dealer of Hyundai’s range of vehicles in Oman. With a nationwide network of showrooms and service centers, OTE Group ensures that Hyundai customers are never far from getting a wide range of high quality aftersales service. It is this strong partnership that continues to lead more customers to join the Hyundai family. 32 May 7-20, 2010


LAYATARANG Promising young singer Sanjana Mohandoss, a grade 12 student of Indian School Muscat, kept the audience spellbound with her silky rendering of vocals, which was a symphonic salute

to her music gurus — Ustad Khalid Anwar Jaan and Suresh Koniyoor. She displayed her calibre singing Carnatic, Hindustani, light and film songs in a three-hour

marathon session.Renowned music director Vidya Sagar graced the event as the chief guest. Indian Ambassador Anil Wadhwa was present as the guest of honour.




The new BMW 5 Series Sedan was launched in Oman. The sixth generation model from BMW marks the epitome of aesthetic design and supreme driving pleasure in the upper midrange segment, with sporting and elegant design, excellent comfort and the highest standard in efficiency in its class. Al Jenaibi International Automobiles is the exclusive BMW Group importer in Oman.

14th edition of Times of Oman’s

Mostly Clueless team

Sri Lankan School team

OPEN QUIZ Mostly Clueless (S. Bala, Shafeek M.K. and Shaheen Jamil) won the 14th edition of Times of Oman’s Open Quiz held last month at the City Amphitheatre, Qurum. Questionable Characters (Rohini Dinesh, Sushmita Gupta and Udayan Gupta) were the first

runners up, while the second runners-up team were the new entrants Quizzically Challenged (Prinay Manjeshwar, Vishal Gupta and Nazrul Sheikh). The team from Indian School Ghubra stood in the fourth place having lost by only one mark.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan School, Muscat (Umair Tariq Siddiqui, Ans Khurram and Taimoor Sohail) marched ahead of the other school teams to win the 'best school' team trophy in the prefinals.

Black & White 33


introduces Crown Crust Pizza Pizza Hut has introduced crown crust pizza; the newest pizza innovation from the Oman Restaurant Awards winner. It looks like a crown, with 12 large succulent meat and cheese balls studded around the edge of the crust of a large pizza - hence the name Crown Crust! It comes in three crust varieties: meatballs, cheese balls, or a combination of meatballs and cheese balls with your choice of toppings. Pizza Hut has ensured that only the best quality ingredients go into preparing this regal treat. The finest cheese Philadelphia Cream cheese from Kraft Foods has been used to prepare the cheese balls in the Crown Crust Pizza.


2010 FIFA World Cup promotion winner

Fatema Zahrat won a ticket to South Africa for FIFA World Cup 2010 for herself and a companion at the Sony Ericson 2010 FIFA World Cup promotion raffle draw, which was held recently under the supervision of the officials from ministry of commerce and industry. Under this promotion, every customer buying Sony Ericsson U10, U100, W595, W995, OR X2 was entitled to a scratch and win coupon winning instant prizes like FIFA t-shirts, footballs, mobile dangler or caps. A portion of the coupon was put in for the raffle draw. The Sony Ericson 2010 FIFA World Cup promotion was held for a month during March 15-April15.


MOHAMMED ASLAM Live in concert A musical evening â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; Meri Awaaz Suno' is scheduled for May 13 at Al Falaj Hotel, featuring the play back singer Mohammed Aslam. This event will be a nostalgic trip to the yester years and the Muscat audience will once again enjoy 34 May 7-20, 2010

the melodious songs of the great Mohammed Rafi, Saigal, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Talat, Hemant and Manna Dey. A live orchestra from Delhi will be a part of the troupe. Contact: 92726558, 99337132

In Black & White

In Black... Every year, an area of rainforest is getting cut down and destroyed. The plants and animals that used to live in these forests either die or must find a new forest to call it their home. Why are rainforests being destroyed? SALUTATIONS TO THE GREEN REVOLUTIONISTS! Sometimes, your reputation might precede you. And reputations may be far removed from reality. It could happen in the case of countries too. Some reputations may be formed or based on myths. The myths that often precede Oman’s ground reality is that of being a country full of desert, full of camels and caravans, a land where only the Empty Quarter exists. It is only when people visit the country they will discover that Oman is not just a mere desert, but much more than that. Then, they will realise how myths can send you on the wrong trail. Oman is a country that has its share of modernity and tradition, and needless to say, it is unique for possessing a green land (Salalah) with its own share of the monsoon (Khareef). Most importantly, Oman’s economy is not just dependant on oil alone, but also agriculture (farming) and others. And now that well-kept secret is also going to be out: Oman can take pride in having its own little ‘rainforest’. The story about Oman’s baby rainforest – behind Al Nahda Resort & Spa in Barka is quite a revelation. Read the story and you will learn more about the people behind this dream project. People with passion and the will to transform a desert into an oasis. All of this may be seem easy on paper, but only when you embark on a journey like that you will discover the enormity of it. The people behind the ‘rainforest’ were made of a different class and although it took

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Editor-in-chief three-long decades, just see what they have achieved! It is not just the novelty of it that I am talking about. The irony of this is that worldwide, rainforests are getting depleted. Every year, an area of rainforest is getting cut down and destroyed. The plants and animals that used to live in these forests either die or must find a new forest to call it their home. Why are rainforests being destroyed? We are the main cause of rainforest destruction or deforestation. We are cutting down rainforests for many reasons of survival and modernisation. So, it is at this juncture that a mini-rainforest is being created in Oman and it is such a welcome idea. Our children and the younger generation who have only read about rainforests can now see and experience what it (a rainforest) is all about. And, many of us are never ever going to get a chance of visiting or even seeing a rainforest and so the Oman rainforest will be a real ‘live’ experience for them. I wish, for the younger generation’s sake, that these rain forests should continue to be around. Not just created ones, but real rain forests! My salutations to those who have taken a step for this green revolution!

& White Black & White 35

B&W Xclusive

The ‘RAINMAN’ of Barka

36 May 7-20, 2010

“Wait and watch!” the duo said. One of them had that enigmatic smile playing on the corner of his lips. The other was jovially grinning from ear to ear unable to conceal his glee. It was around mid noon. Outside the enclosure where we sat, ensconced by green foliage, the temperature was doing 40 to 42 degrees Celsius. Inside, where we sat, the temperature was around 26 or 27 degrees. We waited, we watched. Then, suddenly, our ears picked up that rhythm. The distant rumble of thunder; the sudden drum of rain drops pitter pattering in the distance and then working itself into a storm, and – and in the next moment the whole area shuddered and coalesced with pounding rain. Outside the enclosure, it was blazing hot. Inside, it was pouring rain. Something wrong somewhere? No, things couldn’t be better. We were with the ‘rainman’ of Barka.

Black & White 37

Mere chance brought Dadwalji, who was into R&D, botanical research and animal tissue culture in India, to Oman

“IF YOU THINK BARKA is hot and dry, you could be so wrong!” both J. S. Dadwal, senior general manager, Barka division, Al Bahja Group of Companies and Stephen Hatton, general manager, Al Nahda Resort & Spa chorused to us.

B&W Xclusive

Yes, it was hot and sticky outside, but inside this verdant enclosure, it was monsoon at its peak. No, we are not in Kenya, Kerala or in the Khareef season in Salalah. We were at the ‘rainforest’ or simply put, the sprawling farm behind Al Nahda resort in Barka, enjoying an indoor monsoon. Some minutes ago, we were pushing ourselves through dense foliage in one of the many greenhouses in the farm to reach this little green and rainy corner. It was a real oasis in the desert and certainly not a mirage! “Isn’t it just like the Amazon jungle?” Dadwalji (as he is fondly known) asked us as the tempo of 38 May 7-20, 2010

the rainfall increased. We did not know. But, we knew rain when we saw it; we knew rain when it soaks our body right down to the bone and these showers were like that, and punctuated with thunder and shrill bird calls. We sipped fresh grape juice as we listened to an unusual tale of some men who carved a green wonder on the desert. As they spoke to us, we realised that this oasis was just the beginning and they still had plans to create more wonders. The ‘rainforest’ is a virtual Greenland behind Al Nahda resort, which was the brainwave of the former chairman of Ajay Group of Companies, the late Ajith Hamlai. The man who put the visionary chairman’s plan into action was Dadwalji and he is slowly bringing to life various dreams that the duo jointly planned. “Our chairman was a visionary, who had some 30 years back, planned this green revolution.

Dadwalji and his skeletal team began a small green house, with cucumbers and roses. The results were so positive that they created four greenhouses

He planted the seeds then and today, here we are, with that dream turning into a green reality – here we are standing right in the middle of a tropical rainforest!” Often, when Dadwalji spoke of the late chairman, his eyes would mist over, but when he spoke of the passion behind making this green sanctuary, his eyes sparkled. “There is so much to say, it will take days before I finish telling you the story behind all this,” Dadwalji said. Mere chance had brought Dadwalji, who was into R&D, botanical research, animal tissue culture etc., in India, to Oman.

“I was with a reputed laboratory in Mumbai between 1987 to ’88, when chance brought me here to Oman. I was consulted to create oil extracts and to dispose of the residual extracts after process. I came to Oman to help produce essentials oils from Oudh, Rehan, Yash leaves!” Apparently, 350kgs of Yash leaves used to be brought down from Jebel Akhdar then, to produce approximately 10 to 15kgs of Yash oil. “We were discussing what to do with the residues and the thought of creating tablets came up. Black & White 39

B&W Xclusive

The farm had a greenhouse where orchids bloomed by the hundreds. “If orchids can bloom in Thailand, why not here in Oman?

40 May 7-20, 2010

These powder residues were harmless, but they were in abundance. Since we did not want to waste it, we began to make it in to sweet-smelling bukhoor tablets.”

whatever you see in the 350 acres of land is the end result of that first, bold step taken,” Dadwalji said sweeping his hand across the greenery.

THE GREEN VISIONARY “We were into the chemicals and extraction processes. And at the same time, the thoughts and ideas of making the farm green came up for discussions. That was the beginning of the small green revolution that took root in greenhouses, tropical rainforests, and later on to roses and orchids. There were no roads in this region at that time. It was all graded roads, and there was no landscaping. So it was more of a challenge for all of us. It was our chairman’s vision to create a green haven. We knew it would take years, but if we did not take the first step then, we would never be able to take it, so we took the plunge. Today,

MANGOES AND LEMONS Dadwalji and his skeletal team began a small green house, with cucumbers and roses. The results were so positive that they created four greenhouses. “We made one exclusive for roses, indoor plants, and flowers. To be honest, at that time, there was no concept as such or huge manpower. We just had two to three staff and myself! We brought mango saplings and soon it grew up to 2000 mango trees. It took us three to four years. We have all sorts of mango varieties. We have one variety where each mango is 1.5kgs to 2kgs in weight. And we used many of the local variety saplings, later to be modified in to hybrid varieties.

Stephen: The greenhouses, the farms, the greenery brought us to a point where we wanted to share all of this with the public. The idea of wellness, spa came up and then we thought why not a resort? A resort that will feature tree houses, farms, mangoes, orchids, and peacocks...

The end result was astonishing. This land is very fertile and gave us very fruitful results – very sweet tasting and big-sized mangoes. There is a local variety that bears fruits throughout the year.” Dadwalji explained how such encouraging results gave them more confidence and slowly they ventured in to planting lemons, vegetables, in fact, every other fruit varieties. “But for apples, we grew it all here! Today we can proudly boast of a 75-acres lemon farm.

ORCHIDS BLOOM Dadwalji and Stephen then led us into a greenhouse where orchids bloomed by the hundreds. “If orchids can bloom in Thailand, why not here in Oman?” Stephen asked out aloud as Dadwalji once again led us through an incredible orchid garden in full bloom. “We brought some saplings in a bottle down here and placed it in our greenhouse. Today, we have one of the most exquisite varieties of orchid right here in Oman!” Dadwalji added.

“And, as for mangoes, last year, we sold approximately 500 to 1000kgs of green mangoes a day. We reach it out to Al Mawaleh market,” Dadwalji said, adding that the period from June to July was the mango season.

The varieties present were dazzling. There was even a ‘non-vegetarian’ orchid commonly called the 'Pitcher Plant' that promptly fed on ants and other tiny insects that happened to be in the vicinity of the flower trap.

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B&W Xclusive

The farm has all sorts of mango varieties - one which fruits the whole year and another which bears 1.5kg to 2kg mangoes

42 May 7-20, 2010

The peacock enclosure had around 60 peacocks. One of them spread out their feathers in an impressive show for us.

THE WELLNESS STORY As more and more additions filled the farm, slowly the feeling came to them that they should go beyond being just a unique farm. “The greenhouses, the farms, the greenery brought us to a point where we wanted to share all of this with the public. The idea of wellness, spa came up and then we thought why not a resort? A resort that will feature tree houses, farms, mangoes, orchids, and peacocks. And that is how Al Nahda resort came into being,” Stephen said. HARMONY WITH NATURE “Needless to say, our late chairman was a visionary. He caused a green revolution in Barka. It takes many years of conceptualisation, initiation and hard work to bring out green results. Al Nahda is a wellness concept, a wellness created out of nature.

Everything here is created as a compliment to nature itself. Being in sync with nature takes exceptional vision and I am glad to be part of the Al Nahda. Dadwalji is the green man here. The greenhouses, the trees, the peacocks are all manifestation of his dedicated efforts in live with the far reaching vision of our late chairman,” he said. To visualise the creation of agricultural/horticultural landscapes for the local community welfare is not a simple process, he added. “This project has been happening since 1987 and today we have 350 acres which include lime plantations, green houses and nurseries, resort, spa, rainforest restaurant, rose, solar and jojoba gardens and agricultural lands, which include banana plantains, sugar cane, vegetable and natural foliage waste areas for compost development,” Stephen detailed. Black & White 43

B&W Xclusive

The farm had a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;non-vegetarianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; orchid commonly called the Pitcher Plant, that promptly fed on ants and other tiny insects that happened to be in the vicinity of the flower trap

44 May 7-20, 2010

A duck playfully pecks at Dadwalji at the farm

While the farm may dazzle with exotic flowers, plants and fruits, it was also a small zoo with a variety of birds and animals in wide open enclosures. “We have peacocks, peahens, rabbits, ducks, dogs…” Stephen noted. But the most exciting part was the peacock enclosure which had around 60 peacocks. The peacocks generally stand for auspiciousness and beauty. Two of them spread out their feathers in an impressive show for us. NATURE ADOPTED ME Al Nahda resort has adopted some of the attractions too. Today, the resort has waterfalls, a 25mts long sauna tunnel, and fountains. A variety of trees dot the resort’s landscape. Although Dadwalji spoke at length about the project, at no point did he take credit for the wonders that he had created. At the most, he would

claim to have brought to reality the vision of his beloved chairman. “I will not take any credit for all this. I just love nature. And I am blessed that nature has adopted me. I love to be near plants and flowers. If you love nature, she (nature) will love you back. I am fortunate that I could be of use to this society.” THINK GREEN “We all should think green. It does not take much effort; it is just a thought that can soon be a way of life. I feel I have only done 30 percent. Another 70 per cent is still pending. I still believe it is nature that brought me here. I was destined to be instrumental to create whatever green I could with the vision of our late chairman… he is still in our hearts, amongst this greenery…” Dadwalji said looking into the distance, his eyes misting over again. Black & White 45

B&W Xclusive

Orchids bloom in Oman too! 46 May 7-20, 2010

Black & White 47

“It is mesmerising, relaxing and magical…”

B&W Xclusive

This is how Niti Ajit Kumar Karsandas Hamlai, managing director of Al Nahda Resort and Spa, described the ‘rainforest’ behind the resort

ASKED WHAT THE ‘RAINFOREST’ mean to her and what it represented, Niti Hamlai said: “The atmosphere created by the rainforest is mesmerising and relaxing. It has proven to be a place where stress levels go down immediately due to the magical effect of water, rain, chirping birds and densely populated green foliage.” She said the team was currently working towards launching this project commercially. By the end of this year, more news on the development of the project will be unveiled, she said. Meanwhile, Al Nahda Resort and Spa is continuously striving to service its guests and clients with newer hospitality concepts. “We are proud to be one of the few, if not only, Omani owned company to be operating a five-star property successfully on our own and think it is to Text: Adarsh Madhavan & Priya Arunkumar Photos: Najib Al Balushi

48 May 7-20, 2010

our advantage greatly to offer true Omani hospitality to our guests from around the world. “We are actively working towards preserving our greens and taking conscious steps towards a more environmentally-friendly operation by using recycled paper, pens, other stationery etc. We will be introducing re-usable jute duffle bags with a ‘Go Green’ sign on the bag on complimentary basis during the entire stay of our guest, which they generally use to carry nick-knacks to go around the pool area or on site seeing trips. At a nominal cost, our guests will be able to buy these bags off us and create awareness by simply using them in their immediate neighborhood in their home countries.”

Sunny side up

The saga of the mince pie

Bikram Vohra, internationallyknown Gulf based scribe

By Bikram Vohra

I am 58 years old and I don’t know many things. Unlike Francis Bacon, all knowledge is not in my province. Come to think of it, my province is pretty small. And among the many things that I do(did) not know is that mince pies do not have mince in them but little bits of sticky fruit. So, I am sitting here at this east-west dinner and everyone is interrupting everyone else with their travelogues and the tiresome effort it is to get a good room in a good hotel in Paris, one can’t really stay just anywhere, can one, when these little food items arrive and the hostess says, have a mince pie. I take one and bite into it and fill my mouth with a reasonably tasty clot of sticky sweet fruit. Hey, I say, this is sweet. Of course, says my hostess, it is a mince pie. Most people in my position would have heard the penny drop, picked up the drift so to speak and shut up. Put a sock in it. Let it be. Not Vohra. Vohra soldiers on, regardless of the flak. Fancy that, I say, I always thought mince pies had mincemeat in them, you know like kheema, not fruit, mutton or shredded chicken or something. There is this kinda hush situation followed by a crepe of embarrassment and then a fellow countrywoman turns to me and says, you didn’t know mince pies are sweet? No, I say, didn’t have a clue, always thought they were like steak and kidney pies, only squishy. She gives a dry, mirthless laugh, as if to say she didn’t know this was an evening for intellectual slumming, where did this one come from, what sort of people are they calling to parties these days, gatecrashers. Where do you live, says another guest, you have never eaten a mince pie. No, I say, never, not for over half a century, read about it in the books but never really eaten one. Come to think of it, never knew black pudding was dried blood always thought it was one of those caramel custard things burnt black. Countrywoman gives a shrill little trill and says, where do you live, in the boonies, he thought black pudding was sweet, oh this is funny. And all

these people from my part of the world they are apologising for my faux pas and prattling on about their impressive relationships with mince pies and the westerners are all looking at me pitifully as if I was one of those drifters who had drifted in and shouldn’t have, and I am looking at this tableau in awe and wondering why I should be ashamed of not knowing there isn’t any mince in a mince pie. Peasant. Member of the great unwashed. Plebe. So down market, country bumpkin. Guess where these unspoken but highly articulate remarks are coming from. My own kind. They are red-faced for me and on the way back to the car park I overhear this lady tell her husband, that journalist fellow is so gauche, I mean what will they think of us, we don’t even know what is in a mince pie. And the husband, he is nodding wisely and looking ever so worldly, like he was the world’s leading authority on mince pies and had been fed black pudding along with gripe water in Ludhiana or whatever. By they the lady evidently means the western element at the party. By us she as obviously means all brown billion of us, the majority of which she would not like to associate with, seeing as how they won’t be tops on their mince pie knowhow. If it wasn’t all so tragic it would be mind-boggling funny. Before I got into the party I also got into my stride and confessed that I was 43 when I learnt that Steak Tartare was raw meat and that the exotic sounding Mulligatawny soup was derived from the Indian words “Mullak thani,” meaning ‘country water’, or simply, lentil soup. I had no idea that a scone was a round piece of cake rather than some exotic food item slathered with hot, melting butter. As for a macaroon I thought it was stretched macaroni. So what? No one was impressed, not after I had mince pie on my face. With pieces of fruit in it. And then I turned to Allyson and I said, so how come they didn’t just call it sticky fruit pie. And I bet Allyson has no idea what puttu is anyway so we are quits. Black & White 49

Kids, here are few funny facts for you… •If you yelled for eight years, seven months and six days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. •The act of snapping one’s fingers is called a “fillip”. •The dot on top of the letter ‘i’ is called a tittle

Know more about animal sounds All animals cry. Let out sounds… do you know what these sounds are called?


Asses bray Bears growl Bees hum, buzz, murmur Beetles drone Cocks crow Cows moo, low Crows caw Deer bell Dogs bark, woof, arf Dolphins click Elephants trumpet Falcons chant Flies buzz Foxes bark Parrots talk

Peacocks scream Penguin babies bleat Pigeons coo Pigs grunt Rhinos snort Tigers roar Tortoises grunt Turkeys gobble Wolves howl Hawks scram Hippos bray Horses neigh Hyenas laugh Kittens mew Lions roar

Tongue twisters… try em! Purple paper people, purple paper people, purple paper people 50 May 7-20, 2010

Black & White 51

On June 3, 2010

Guidelines & Rules Entry fees: RO1/- (Individual members only) Registration forms: The registration forms will be published in Black & White magazine. Please fill in the form and drop it off at the Black & White office 212, Hatat House, second floor. Trophies will be given to the top four 'finishers'! For more details contact: 24565697 / 98675976 Tournament Format: Please arrive early. On-venue registration/payment will be accepted if there are seats available. The tournament will consist of two separate divisions. Elimination Preliminary Rounds (Date of the event will be announced in the next issue) All participants will take part in 30-minute preliminary rounds where the first 40 'finishers' (persons who correctly complete the Sudoku packet) will be shortlisted. Semi final Rounds: The semi final round will be of 20 minutes duration. The top 40 selected will be given new Sudoku puzzle packets. Top 16 finishers will be selected to move on to the final on June 3, 2010. Guests or players from another tournament cannot stay in the tournament room during the first rounds; however, they can stay in the tournament room during the final round if they want to watch. Guests/ eliminated players must follow the same etiquette the players have to during the tournament.


Tournament Rules: All players must be expected to know how to play Sudoku. Cheating, fighting and threatening is forbidden. Talking is not permitted (as it distracts players), nor making distracting noises, nor distracting a player/ judge to give another/other player(s) an advantage. The only person a competitor may talk to is a judge. Food and drinks are not permitted in the tournament area, unless directed so by a judge. Keep papers covered at all times. Not covering your papers can be considered as cheating! If you have to use the rest-rooms, you do NOT have to ask for permission, but you must place your Sudoku packet face-down on the table. Additionally, after the time expires, all players must immediately put their pencils down and turn in their Sudoku packets. All electronic devices must be silenced and cannot be used during the tournament. Do not bring any stationary materials. All participants will be provided with the required pencils, working sheets and the Sudoku puzzle package. Write neatly! Numbers that you write will stand interpreted by the judges. When finished, stand-up and raise your number placard provided with your Sudoku kit. Selection: Placing will be based on the following (from most important to least important): Accurate Completion of Puzzle(s) Tie-Breakers: The number of individual squares that were correct. The top 4 finishers will receive awards. Only four finalists from each tournament sub division will move on to the final round in order to compete for the top four spots. Only papers needed to be graded will be graded. However, all papers graded will be double-checked. Rulings will be based on the judge’s discretion. All rulings are final, unless superseded by a superior judge’s authority.

52 May 7-20, 2010

By Dave Green

5 3 9 7 4 2010 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

1 4 8 6 5 3 9 7 4 2 5 4 9 3 3/03

Difficulty Level

SOLUTION: Difficulty Level


5 1 3 6 7 4 8 9 2

3 6 4 9 2 8 7 1 5

9 2 8 7 1 5 3 6 4

7 5 1 3 4 6 2 8 9

4 9 2 1 8 7 6 5 3

1 3 5 2 6 9 4 7 8

6 8 7 4 5 3 9 2 1

2010 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Sudoku is a number-placing puzzle based on a 9x9 grid with several given numbers. The object is to place the numbers 1 to 9 in the empty squares so that each row, each column and each 3x3 box contains the same number only once.

2 7 9 8 3 1 5 4 6

6 5 9 2 1


8 4 6 5 9 2 1 3 7


Black & White 53

Your stars ARIES March 21-April 20 Wisdom, intuition and passionate encounters will be the theme for this week. Listen carefully to the emotional clues offered by friends and loved ones. At present, your insight is accurate and others will be willing to speak openly about love, desire and romantic triangles. Key information may be revealed that could lead to mild arguments in friendships or feelings of isolation in romance. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be drawn into the position of mediator: progress will be slow. TAURUS April 21-May 20

GEORGE TIMOTHY CLOONEY (BORN MAY 6, 1961) is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter.

Colleagues and business partners may be surprised to learn of your past track record or long history of preparation. Present your ideas well and others will respond quickly with admiration. Before midweek watch impulsive spending and avoid large purchases: finances or household budgets may now need to be briefly adjusted. A close friend may ask for added emotional support concerning a romantic disagreement or family triangle.

He has received two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award. Clooney is noted for parlaying his celebrity into social activism and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008. Though he made his acting debut on television in 1978, Clooney gained fame and recognition by portraying Dr Douglas "Doug" Ross on the long-running medical drama

GEMINI May 21-June 21 Relationships will offer many social rewards. Expect loved ones to express long withheld feelings of passion and renewed attraction. Some Geminis are now leaving behind a period of isolation in relationships or emotional stand offs with friends. Take extra time to listen to others and find a common understanding: new commitments will be the likely result. Late Tuesday social invitations are also on the rise: watch for friends or close workmates to initiate activities or request creative diversions.

ER from 1994 to 1999. While working on ER, he started attracting a variety of leading roles in films including Batman & Robin (1997) and Out of Sight (1998), where he first teamed with long-term collaborator Steven Soderbergh. In 2001, Clooney's fame


widened with the release of his biggest commercial success, Ocean's Eleven, the first of a profitable film trilogy.

54 May 7-20, 2010

CANCER June 22-July 23 Financial mistakes from the past may reappear early this week. Watch for records, contracts and payments schedules to require new definitions or revised planning. Miscalculations in the areas of funding applications, governmental reports or investment information may soon become obvious. React with confidence and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the self-serving agendas of others slow you down: this is the right time to clearly speak your mind and take control of your business life. Key areas of concern may be the emotional well being of a close relative or unusual family dynamics.

LEO July 24-August 23 Prepare for a month of unstructured time and increased social energy. At the moment, you may find that social interest or romantic attraction now take precedence over business, career decisions and finances. No harm in this at all; in fact, you would do well to spend extra time fostering new friendships and making changes to your daily routine. Some Leos may also experience an overwhelming feeling of workplace comfort, confidence and business security. VIRGO August 24-September 23 Relations with family members and parent/child dynamics will be the theme for the next few days. Loved ones may now be restless or frustrated but are willing to make concrete suggestions. Stay balanced and refuse to be distracted by emotional displays. Before Thursday social invitations may also unexpectedly arrive: new co-workers or fast, talkative friends are accented: remain open and watch for unusual group gatherings. Pay close attention to minor financial setbacks or money reversals. LIBRA September 24-October 22 Talk to business associates this week and formally present your ideas. This is an excellent time to emphasise new aspects of your business skills and workplace abilities. Some Librans may also experience new travel proposals in business or ideas for shared media campaigns. Authority figures will be open to new suggestions. Tuesday through Thursday your social world becomes complex: watch for increased gossip or romantic speculation. SCORPIO October 23-November 22 Property, possession and issues of ownership from the past may demand extra attention this time. Watch documents and records closely for minor clauses or hidden information. Some Scorpios, especially those born early in November, may also experience a return of an old friend. If so, expect three days of scattered emotions and quick social changes. Friends and romantic partners may not react well to past influences: remain cautious and ask gently revealing questions.

SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 Workmates, business officials and parental figures will listen to your words and observations this week. Over the past few weeks many Sagittarians have felt ignored in the workplace or misunderstood. Now, however, and lasting over the next 4 to 5 weeks, all of this dramatically changes. Present your ideas and intentions clearly and confidently this week and others will respond with quick actions and ready permissions. CAPRICORN December 23-January 20 Emotional obligations and family planning may feel heavy or overwhelming before early this week. However, aspects indicate that you will soon feel renewed and confident about your emotional direction in life and family ambitions. Key areas affected are family relationships, social optimism and romantic feelings. Remain open to subtle insights and expect loved ones to openly discuss their thoughts, goals and dreams. AQUARIUS January 21-February 19 Social energy is on the rise this week. Take time out of your schedule to enjoy the emotional antics of friends and the bright, fresh outlook of others. Recently, a demanding work routine or family schedule may have distracted you away from the simple pleasures in life. Invite positive people and ideas into your life and you may be surprised at how completely you feel supported or understood. Discuss your social plans and new outlook with family members. PISCES February 20-March 20 Workplace relationships may need special attention this week. At the moment co-workers and business officials may be overly focussed on small details and minor disruptions. Your interest begins to shift toward creativity, artistic pursuits or romantic encounters. Close friends and loved ones may take extra time to adopt a similar attitude new growth and worthwhile commitments are in the works. Plan to expand your social and emotional life. Black & White 55

PICK-UP PICK UP POINTS MUSCAT WADI KABIR Bait al Zubair Bait al Baranda Marina Bander Al Bustan Palace Hotel Oman Dive club Shangri-La- Barr Al Jissah Sri Lankan School NHI Pencil Building (Stationery shop) Al Maha bunk –Wadi Kabir Ajay Enterprises (Khimji) – (Next to Jingles nursery) Hotel Golden Oasis Sana Fashions Al Maya markets – (Old Rawasco) Scientific pharmacy – Opp to al Maya market ( Arab Udipi Rest)

CBD AREA TO DARSAIT Al Amana Building materials – Opposite Jawad Sultan Al Omaniya Financial Services office Oman oil bunk Khimji mart shopping mall – (Old shopping & saving) Khimjis Bait al Ahlam- CBD area Pizza Muscat (Opposite ministry of manpower) Pizza Hut/TFC – CBD area Centre point-Splash Muscat Securities market Times of Oman Shell petrol Bunk (Next to Sheraton) OCCI Library – Oman Chamber of commerce (OPP MSM) KFC – Ruwi Oman International Bank – Ruwi Palayok Restaurant – Filipino restaurant Ever ready supermarket New India Assurance Office Al Fair – Ruwi high street Lakhoos Money Exchange, Ruwi High street Damas Jewellery/office – Ruwi Oman UAE Exchange – OCC Centre Air Arabia Office- Shanfari Travels Ruwi Hotel Gulf air building – Gulf air office Saravanabhavan Restaurant Sarco – Samsung showroom Khimji Megastore – Swarovski showroom OTE Moosa Abdul Showroom – next to al Jadeed Toshiba Showroom Al Jadeed shopping Badr Al Samaa Samara video (next to Talentz, old bait al ahlam) after 5pm Ministry of Education – Opp Wearhouse – Ruwi Future management consultants -(opp Toshiba showroom) Haffa House Hotel Al Falaj Hotel Muscat Bakery- Near church Pakistan School (after temple & church Darsait) Naranjee Hirjee office (before Hotel Golden Oryx) Hotel Golden Oryx Bank Muscat corporate office (Opposite Hotel Golden Oryx) Kamat Restaurant Uptown Restaurant Turtles Book shop Al Rima Clinic Lama Polyclinic Oman Air – CBD NBO- CBD area

Bank Muscat Bank Sohar HSBC Standard Chartered Oman Arab Bank Harmony Music Centre – Next to OAB Bahwan Travel Agencies – CBD banks area OTTB – Oman Travels Bureau Air India office – CBD next to Costas Costas Papa John Supa Save – CBD Woodlands Bank Dhofar Horizon Restaurant – (Next to Moon travels) Oman post office Lulu Darsait Khimji Ramdas Head office, Muttrah (Kanaksi Khimji & pankaj Khimji) Majan College – Darsait junction (canteen) Indian Social Club Melody Music Centre – Next to ISM German Embassy – Hamriya roundabout Apollo Medical Centre Computer Xpress – Hamriya Roundabout Atlas Travels (Wadi Adai Roundabout (next to polyglot) Hatat House Passage to India Best cars Hyundai/Subaru/GM showroom Al Asfoor Furnishing Ahli Bank Shell marketing office SEAT car showroom- Wattayah DHL office- Wattayah Honda Showroom Sabco Head office wattayah NTT travels Wattayah Toyota Bahwan Advertising – Ist floor – Toyota showroom Lexus Ford showroom Shanfari Automotive Wattayah Motors- VW showroom Khoula Hospital Institute of Health sciences – opposite Khoula Kia showroom- wattayah

QURUM AREA TOWARDS AL KHUWAIR Al Harthy ComplexPizza Muscat – next to Sultan Center in al Harthy complex Sultan Center Nissan showroom BMW showroom Muscat Private School Qurum city centre Pizza Hut – Qurum Capital Store Al Asfoor Plaza KFC Hardees Fono showroom next to Sabco centre Shah Nagardas Sabco Centre- Barista coffee shop only Al Araimi Panasonic Showroom NBO Qurum Al Khamis Plaza Al Wadi commercial centre – Coffee shop Mercedes showroom CCC- Stand CCC Al Fair Bollywood chat Pizza Hut – Qurum

Second Cup Nandos McDonalds Salman Stores Jawahir Oman Hamptons Business Services & Travel Amex office Ernst & Young buildg (OUA Travels) Starbucks Hawthorne institute- ELS Fahud Street, opp Qurum park Mumtaz Mahal Left bank Oman Association for the disabled Ministry of education (20 +20=20) Muscat Intercon Jawaharat Al Shatti complex- stand Oasis by the sea - crepe café stand LNG Office Al Qurum resort Bareek Al Shatti Complex Al Qandeel head office -, Entrance of Bareek al Shatti Al Shatti Cinema - Dunkin Donuts Al Sahwa Schools– principal’s office next to Ramada hotel Hotel Ramada Al Muriya Offices- next to Al sahwa schools Grand Hyatt Muscat Al Masa Mall Radio Shack Al Sarooj Complex Shell Petrol Bunk- Al Sarooj Al Fair Ramee Guestline Rock Bottom Classic Institute of Arts- next to Asas Oman Asas Oman Apartments Crowne Plaza Coral hotel Qurum Pvt school PDO Ras Al Hamraa Club Omanoil head office

AL KHUWAIR/MSQ TOWARDS AZAIBA ELS – Al khuwair service road British School Muscat – MSQ British Council Oman oil- Madinat Qaboos Pizza Hut Khimjis mart – MSQ Kargeen Café Al fair Family Book shop- MSQ Tavola – Al Noor Hall buildg Starbucks Hana slimming centre – Ist Floor Fotomagic Al Noor Hall Al Jadeed Eqarat office Above Welcare Clinic – al Khuwair Domino Pizza Oman mobile Safeer Hypermarket Mustafa Sultan Souk Technia Omantel Oman international Bank – Al khuwair main office Ibis Hotel Park inn Hotel Friendi Office Muscat Bakery Tropical Ice creams Subway Pizza Hut service road

Ice Skating Rink National Training Institute Golden spoon Restaurant Shell Select- Al Khuwair Mcdonalds Mct holiday Inn Hotel Oman Bowling Center Halliburton Café Vergnano Khimji Mart – Next to Verganano Safeer suites Axa insurance (opp assarain Al khuwair) Zakher shopping Mall PAN Furnishing Harley Davidson Thrifty Al Amal Medical Centre – Dr Bashir Hotel Radisson Pizza Hut Al Khuwair Ozone Video Shop(Next to Pizza Hut) American British School Omar Khayyam Restaurant, next to V kool Grill House (next door) V Kool TAISM Centre for British Teachers – CFBT Baushar Complex Café Aviation Club Restaurant

AZAIBA TOWARDS SEEB Lulu Hyper market – Baushar Oman Medical college College for Business & financial Studies opp Oman medical, baushar Azzan Bin Qais school - Baushar Muscat private Hospital Dolphin Village – Bausher Royal hospital Ghala industrial area – NTI National mineral water – Tanuf ( next to Al Madina Holiday Inn) Oman oil Azaiba Spicy Village – Rusayl Pizza Hut – Ghala Oman oil – Ghala Towell head office – Enhance & Ist floor Mazda showroom Mcdonalds – Azaiba Select shell Azaiba Oman Tribune – Al Watan office New India assurance Azaiba office Safeer Hypermart Nawras head office Zubair showroom and Yamaha corporate office(two places)- Yamaha Showroom – close to Zubair showroom – 1st floor Polyglot Institute GU Tech – Beach road Azaiba Chedi Muscat The wave Muscat corporate office NACA – national cancer Awareness Assn MCC – Crepe Café Al Bahja– Mood Café & food Court Al Maya Super market Oman air Seeb office (Below Flyover, before Golden Tulip) Oman Tourisn College Golden Tulip Hotel Air port Select Shell – Seeb Pizza Hut airport KFC Muscat golf hills, SEEB KOM SQU – SQUH hospital , SQUH 2- canteen, 3Diplomatic Club, 4 – College of Commerce, 5 – Students banking area) Pizza Hut – al Khoud Sultan School al hail service road –

MUSCAT, SALALAH, SUR, SOHAR, NIZWA, BARKA, KASAB MUSCAT continued... principals’ office Caledonian college – principal’s office Oman Foot ball association

RUSAYL AREA Rusayl Industrial Estate Oman Cables Sadolin Paints Jotun Paints Al waqia shoes Mehdi Foods Areej veg oils

MINISTRIES AREA – AL KHUWAIR Ministry of tourism(Ghala, next to ISG) Ministry of social Development(next to Regional municipalities, Bank Mct) Ministry of foreign affairs

SOHAR Spicy Village Restaurant Lulu Hypermarket Jumeirah Shopping Centre Khimji’s Mart Al Salem shopping Centrepoint Moosa Abdul Rahman – GMC Toyota Nissan Mitsubishi LG showroom Sohar Bakery Sohar University Bank Muscat Habib Bank Bank Sohar Oman International Bank Al Raffah Hospital Badr Al Samaa Oman Arab Bank Bank Dhofar HSBC Travel City National Travels and Tours Universal Travels and Tourism DHL Dhofar Insurance Al Ahlia Insurance Taeeger Finance Co Omantel Al Jazeera Group Narenjee Hirjee (International)

SALALAH SHOPPING MALLS Lulu shopping center Al- Istaqarar shopping center (Salalah) Dhofar shopping center Bab Al- Salam market Al- Mashoor (Salalah) Al- Mashoor (Saada) Al-Khareef K.M Trading Al-Isteqarar (Saada) Al-Hoq super market Hamdan commercial market Fresh super market (Al-Sarat) Union Salalah Market Family bookshop

HOTELS Crown Plaza Hilton Salalah Hamdan plaza Dhofar Hotel Salalah hotel Haffa House Redan Hotel Al- Hanaa Hotel BAMSIR hotel Al- Jabel hotel Al- Nile suite (Saada) Salalah Mariott

MINISTRIES Ministry agriculture & fisheries Ministry of education Ministry of defense Ministry of housing & electricity Ministry of water Ministry of tourism Diwan of Royal court (Salalah) Ministry of primary court and justice Ministry of Commerce & industry Dhofar municipality (Baladia) Ministry of man power



Al-Hashar LNG LNG, Club Sur Sur Beach Hotel Sur University OTE, Sur Mitsibushi Rawaya coffee shop Toyota Nissan Sur Plaza Hotel Mazda Khimji Omantel Private Hospital, Sur BankMuscat Sur Hotel NBO, Sur Bank Dhofar, Sur ELS, Sur

OIB, Nizwa OIB, Firq BankMuscat, Nizwa BM main branch, Nizwa BankMuscat, Firq NBO, Nizwa NBO, Firq Bank Abudhabi Toyota OTE Omantel Nawras Khimji, Nizwa Khimji, Izki Muscat Bakery, Nizwa Pizza Hut Discount centre Family shopping Al Diyar Hotel Safari hotel Al-Nif shopping, Izki Hungery Bunny, Nizwa College of Science College of Technic Nizwa Medical College Busmath Clinic Thalal Clinic Omanoil, Izki Omanoil, Firq Omanoil, Nizwa Omanoil, Marfa Shell, Izki Shell, Firq Shell, Nizwa Al-Maha, Firq Nizwa university -Dept of foreign lang Al-Maha, Marfa

BARKA Lulu hyper market Safeer Centre Al Nahda resort Al Maha Souk Oman Oil Rumais Oman College of management OIB NBO Bank Muscat Shell OTE SARCO Nissan showroom Omantel

PETROL STATIONS, BANKS Shanfari filling Station shell select, al saada Oman oil Shell Salalah Bank Muscat Omantel Oman Arab Bank Pizza hut Dhofar University Al Maha souk


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How to look young?


Forget all the worries and all the problems you are surrounded with. Just put it in the backburner and then get cracking on these tips to make you feel young and lively

72 Women drivers & safety


Black & Whiteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last issue (12) focussed on why more men than women die on the road and why more men are involved in road traffic accidents. This issue has more women talking...

Why are your mothers more important than oursâ&#x20AC;Ś This is not question hour, but, here are some queries that we men would like you women to answer. We have compiled a dozen or so questions and if you have the answer to all of them, we are not going to give you a prize



Men need not drive like women, but… If men can do it, ladies can do it better. That is the mood in the drivers market where some women are throwing down the gauntlet to men saying that if they think they can drive well, it only means that the women can drive better. Black & White’s last issue (12) focussed on why more men than women die on the road and why more men are involved in road traffic accidents (RTAs) and why more men than women are injured on the roads in Oman.

We also had many women telling us how and why they were able to drive safe – if not better – than men and why it was important to follow certain standards, rules and regulations on roads and also adopt to better road behaviour. While this may have incensed some men, the truth that women were safer drivers than the former were laid bare in the statistics from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) which noted that out of the

953 people that died on the roads in 2009, 800 (84 percent) were men, and only 153 (16 percent) were women. In 2008 too, out of the 951 that died on the roads in 2008, 814 (86 percent) were men and 137 (14 percent) were women. That is quite telling on the men drivers, and here we carry two more responses of two ladies who feel that driving safely does not mean that they need to drive like women – instead, they could focus on the road and drive.

Get rid off that superiority complex Heena Kothary has one small piece of advice for rash, male drivers out there: Dump your superiority complex!

Eve's drop

Excerpts: Heena is a locally based Indian painter, who recently shot to fame after winning the second slot in the prestigious ‘Qaboos Oman’ open forum painting competition, organised by the Diwan of Royal Court and the Omani Society for Fine Arts. She has been driving for some years now and feels that on a general scale, if women are safer drivers because they are careful, patient, avoid speeding and follow the traffic regulations diligently. She feels that for a man to be safe on the roads, they need not think like a woman. “No, they need not think like a woman, but they need to think and drive nevertheless, and stop using their mobile. And 60 May 7-20, 2010

they should also drop that male superiority complex, 'i.e. only men can do it better'!” Heena also offered some safe driving tips for all male drivers out there: •Be careful while changing lanes, overtaking and use the signal while doing so. •Do not rush, keep in speed limit, eliminate road rage and be calm/patient drivers. •Be aware of the consequences if you are not a safe driver. •Females are equally good as men so remove the superiority complex.

Better to arrive late than never Road accidents happen when our minds are focussed on things other than driving, says Michele Ni Thoghdha, chief supervisor, English. Michele, who has been driving since 1977, says that she personally feels it is better to arrive late than arrive in a “black box”! Excerpts: Why do you think women are safer and more responsible drivers than men – cite the main reasons? I do not think that you can say that one group is safer than another group. There could be many reasons as to why more accidents are attributed to men than women. Perhaps men drive more and as a result are involved in more accidents! I think it is a matter of how seriously we (both men and women) take our responsibilities and also how alert we are on the roads whilst driving. What is essential that our minds are focused on what we are doing – driving. I am of the firm opinion that accidents happen when we allow our minds to be diverted from the task on hand. Being in a good state of health also helps. If we are unable to react quickly then we are more likely to become involved in an accident. In addition, keeping everything in perspective is also very important. Traffic has increased immeasurably and we will get delayed on the roads, for one reason or another. My personal philosophy is:

it is better to arrive later than arrive in a black box! What are the safe driving tips that you could give for male drivers out there? I would advise all, ladies and gents, to remain focussed, not to be in such a rush to leave their family, friends and loved ones behind, and to maintain a reasonable distance between yourself and the car in front and most importantly to remember to keep cool and not allow others to cause you to react in a way that you may later regret. For a man to be safe on the roads, do they have to think like a woman? Again, I do not think it is a question of having to think like one or other group. I think there might be a stronger tendency amongst some drivers to allow the actions of others to dictate the way they behave/ react on the road. This only shows how immature and irresponsible they are. Unfortunately such people may well only learn the lesson too late and may have caused untold damage to others in so doing. Black & White 61

Cooking with







62 May 7-20, 2010

Make it a rule to include a piece of fruit every breakfast. It will make your morning perfect. Fruits are filled with natural, complex sugars for slow-release energy, fiber, and nutrients galore. Cantaloupe, an orange, berries--all are perfect with whole wheat toast, cereal, or an egg. And don’t stop at breakfasts alone… A slice of watermelon, a peach, a bowl of blueberries-they’re the perfect ending to a meal, and are so much healthier than cookies or cake.

Now the most important thing to do is keep a fruit bowl filled wherever you spend the most time. This could be anywhere… at work, near your home computer, or even in the television room. Fill the fruit basket at all times, with fruits such as bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, or plums. Every time you crave for a snack, you can pick the healthy way… a fresh fruit! Yes, a piece of fruit makes a perfect snack--as often as four times per day. Want to boost good health and healing? Add pineapples to your diet. This delightful tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain and the antioxidant vitamin C, both of which plays a major role in the body’s healing process. Here are few easy cooking recipes with pineapples. Add them to your weekly menu and enjoy good life.


Ingredients •1/4 cup maple syrup •3 tablespoons butter, melted •1 fresh pineapple •2 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts Method Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the


Ingredients •1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed •1 (20 ounce) can canned crushed pineapple, drained •1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding •36 cracker squares

grill. Combine syrup and butter; set aside. Quarter the pineapple lengthwise, leaving top attached. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn; brush with maple butter.Grill 5-7 minutes longer or until heated through; brush with maple butter and sprinkle with nuts. Serve with remaining maple butter.

Method In a large bowl, beat together the thawed whipped topping, crushed pineapple and vanilla pudding mix for 2 minutes. Spread pineapple mixture 1/2 inch thick between two graham crackers. Wrap gently in plastic and freeze for 2 hours. Black & White 63

Appearances matter

Malak Al Zedjali is an aspiring student writer

By Malak Al Zedjali

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a metaphorical phrase which means ‘don’t decide the worth of something or someone based on its/their appearance.’ I wanted to write about this because a lot of people agree with this phrase, but I don’t. I mean let’s take it literally, if you saw an old book, with a torn cover, and unattractive colors, be honest with me here, would you read it? Well, I wouldn’t.


A year ago, I thought that I’m a person who doesn’t judge people on how they look like. I thought that I believe in and act like the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”; until once I was at a library, and I was just checking books, see which story I would like to buy. I noticed that books with interesting and attractive covers grabbed my attention more than books with ordinary covers. Then I thought to myself, do I really judge a book by its cover? Oh yes, the answer was crystal clear to me! And then I thought about it,

and it turns out that I do judge people on how they appear, and when you think about it, it’s not a bad thing! Because people’s personalities reflects on the way they dress, don’t it? Also it reflects on the way they behave. Plus, a friend of mine once told me that first impressions are the ones that stick and I agree. That doesn’t make me a bad person; it just makes me a person who thinks in a different way, in the end, every person on this planet thinks in a different way, and has a different opinion. I’m not saying that you should judge a book by its cover, it depends on the person himself. I’m just saying that this is my point of view. What I meant when I said it depends on the person himself is that it depends on the person’s personality, and what are they like. Sometimes I think I judge people quickly because I don’t give second chances to anyone. I don’t know how, but it relates to it somehow, but that’s another story!

64 May 7-20, 2010

It's my life

The hazy glass ceiling and hard rocks

Vandana, award winning author (‘360 Degrees Back to Life')

By Vandana Shah In the past few days all were agog with the over $15 million given to Sunanda Pushkar as- ahem-SWEAT equity. I have myself jeered at the jokes, her clothes, industrial length mascara and goldie locks hair. But after some time I became uncomfortable when I asked myself "what if she was a man"? I am sure no one would’ve made fun of her and gone nudge nudge wink wink about her qualifications. I am not taking any sides but even without clear facts we get the famous hazy GLASS CEILING, where your looks take precedence over your talent and if you succeed it is attributed only to looks and nothing else, inevitably women were the ones stoning her with the hardest of rocks. How many times, even in our workspace, have we said that "would she have succeeded if she wasn’t that good-looking (sic)" and then proceeded to give a complete lurid rundown of that person’s character (from our own imagination). Life is difficult being a woman and we go ahead and add more to it. It’s bad if you are too good looking, not good-looking, thin, fat, intelligent, unintelligent…the list is endlessly depressing. As for me, I know that the best way to deal with this is to ignore it. Only a few people matter and they know the truth.Be confident and positive. But the sharpest arrow in your quiver must be that you should be really good in what you do and justify being there, after all no one passes sly glances either about Indira Nooyi and Naina Lal Kidwai-heads of Pepsi and HSBC-that’s because they have proved their worth time and again and their qualifications lie unchallenged. So I think if you keep a hawk like eye on your work, the detractors will ultimately be forced into silence. Now I better go and do more work and justify earning my sweat equity with God’s team just for existing on this fantastic world.

Vandana Shah, Author 360 Degrees Back To life, Email me what you’d like to say on

Black & White 65

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Learning curve

What’s my joy?

Laila, Omani graduate student of Nizwa University

By Laila Al Gharbi Many of us are not able to recognise and understand what they love and what brings them joy. Whatever the reasons, we should understand that there is no blackboard in the sky on which God has written our purposes, or our missions in life. Some of my friends keep asking me: we want to become like you… tell us how? I am honoured by this query. But, what they don’t understand is that they are my inspiration. They inspired me to write about my joy. Yes, I feel joy because I know what I want and what I love and I know what are the things bring me joy! Besides this, I have also given myself the task of achieving several goals in my life. I believe if I work on them with missionary zeal, I would accomplish them. It is really important to enjoy my life as I have created it and I know that no one has the right to criticise me in this regard. When I began to fill the blackboard of my life with whatever I want, I become happy and cheerful. So, if you have filled the blackboard of your life with negative thoughts, you will be dictated by that negativity. Enough! Erase everything negative because it is useless and will not help you reach anywhere; it will only set you on a thorny path of pain and unhappiness. Well, when I really understood that my primary aim is to be me and experience joy and success, I slowly began to do only those things that brought me joy. It was a learning experience! As human beings, we should be grateful of having before us a blank blackboard with the right to fill it with whatever we like, love, enjoy and want. My final words to all of you is to see yourself with the good that you desire, be the creator of your life. Remember the power is within your thoughts, so go ahead discover your joy and live it! Ask yourself: what is my joy? You will discover it!

Black & White 67

Things a WOMAN should NEVER tell a MAN


By Diane Hammer

68 May 7-20, 2010

There are many things a man should never tell a woman. True, but, let us find what are the things a woman should never tell a man: YOU AND YOUR HUBBY or your boyfriend maybe having excellent communication links, and both of you may be in real back-slapping terms (not quite!) but, there are certain things you should never ever tell a man. Make sure that some things are left unsaid. If you don’t, you are going to raise a cloud of dust! Whatever the relation you have with your hubby, make sure you don’t ruffle his feathers and get into unnecessary misunderstandings and conflicts: YOU ARE WRONG Yes, he maybe wrong. So wrong. And you have that special way of saying such things to him, which will make him squirm and die on the spot. Men are egoistic in a way, and they also feel that they are better than us, so if you are going to tell him that he is wrong (even if he is), it is going to be a blow to his ego. You may, because of your relationship, or because you are very close to him, take him for granted. In the sense, you may be quite rude without even meaning it but he is going to be hurt. You put him down by saying he is wrong and he will no longer feel he is the man (of the house). Why can’t you adopt a more subtle approach? BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN YOUR MOTHER IN LAW AND YOU If you are going to get married, then you are – whether you like it or not – going to have a mother-in-law. And, even if she turns out to be nasty, you have to bear it. So, please don’t ask him to cut off his relationship with his mother. Most men have a special relationship with their mothers, and more often than not, it is extremely difficult for them to sacrifice that. Instead of asking from a man to choose between the two, try to find a middle ground solution which can benefit all. A woman can keep a safe distance from her mother in law without interfering in the relationship her mother in law has with her man. If the man truly values the relationship, the mother in law from hell will not be able to cause damage, in spite her efforts. NO COMPARISONS PLEASE, THEY ARE MEN Men are jealous. Well, so are we (women). But, most men think they are the only men in their women’s lives. They think they are the only men who are able to change the world of their women. But, the chinks in the armour begins to show when you openly compare your current partner with your ex. And if the comparison is in favour of the ex, feelings of jealousy are triggered. Why make such a foolish blunder? Why can’t you keep these thoughts to yourself? Black & White 69

How to look Hey, let us feel young! Forget all the worries and all the problems you are surrounded with. Just put it in the backburner and then get cracking on these tips to make you feel young and lively. Now, before we get into it, remember that you also need to feel as good as you look. Ladies, let us start feeling young, vibrant and energetic again

HO HUM, SAME OLD WALKING RUT? Well, walking may be seen as boring by many. What is the big deal in putting one foot over the other and so on and so forth? Well, it is big deal apparently: Walking can help you forget your cares and reduce your spare tires. Fitness experts agree that as little as 30 minutes of cardio exercise each day guarantees improved health. Okay, now, going for a run may not be your cup of tea but you should know that just about any activity counts toward your 30 minutes. The trick is that you must get your heart rate up (increase cardiovascular activity), make sure you are panting (increase your breathing) and this will ensure calories burn. But, if you are not upto it, some outdoor manual labour or walking the dog with a fast-paced stroll are all great ways to reach your daily 30.


STOP FEELING LIKE A VEGETABLE Yes, stop feeling like a vegetable when you are in the kitchen. Listen, stop feeling like a martyr because you have to attend to kitchen activities in your home. There are things you can do in the kitchen that is bound to make you feel young! Those who have added two or 70 May 7-20, 2010

more servings of vegetables a day, especially leafy greens, had showed mental improvement that was equal to people five years their juniour. So top up the green and spread some green sunshine on your plates, both in the afternoon (for lunch) and also in the night (for dinner). NO BUTTERING UP! This is not a new mantra! All of us know that we need to stop â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;butteringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and begin to add heart healthy oils instead. Olive, canola or walnut oil are your best choices because they are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats while butter is loaded with saturated fat. However, never use too much: although these oils are good for you but they are high calories, so a little goes a long way. COLOUR ME TENDER! Okay, you have a colourful personality! But make it more colourful: Eat more blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, eggplant and purple grapes or any fruit or vegetable that is blue or purple, because they have a reduced risk for high blood pressure and lower HDL cholesterol. Feeling good already? Well, go munch some antioxidants too, so that you will also look good! Happy walking and eating!

Black & White 71

Shape n sound

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72 May 7-20, 2010

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are your mothers more important than ours… By Tom, Dick, Harry…

This is not question hour, but, here are some queries that we men would like you women to answer. We have compiled a dozen or so questions and if you have the answer to all of them, we are not going to give you a prize. Women have a lot to answer for. They cannot whistle properly, they don’t like horror movies and they cry over TV programme! But we won’t tax you heavily… take your time and try answering some of them, if not the whole dozen: Why do you always make a list of things to do?

How are you able to get the contents of a whole suitcase in to a handbag?

Why do you always wear shoes that hurt your feet? Why do you always tell us what to wear?

Why can’t you whistle? Why can’t you understand the rules of football? Why do you always interrupt?

Why do you always remember everyone’s birthday?

Why do you always sulk?

Why don’t you like watching horror movies? Why do you cry over TV programme when you know it’s only make-believe? Why do you buy something you don’t really want just because it’s been reduced?

Why do you nag?

Why do you worry that someone will wear the same dress as you to a party?

Why are your mothers more important than ours? Black & White 73

Be an option? By Priya Arunkumar


Am I your priority? My little girl queried. You are my life, I added for an impact. I know that mama, but, am I your ‘priority’ (She spelt out the word)? I thought she was in to the usual stuff of learning words, but, still replied… of course, sweetheart, why do you ask? Are you sure? Because I have your diary and my name is not on your list! On April 20, you have made a checklist of 11 things, but I am not there, she read out. Well, that’s office stuff, you don’t put family in to it, I clarified (Justified, my guilty mind corrected). Oh, ok. I thought, you got busy and missed me out, she remarked and ran away. I picked up the diary she dropped down and flipped over the pages. Tasks to do, priority lists, deadlines, topics… endless lists Did I actually finish all these lists? I felt incredibly proud. Though my daughter’s harmless query caught me unawares, I patted myself. It is alright; working mamas and pangs of guilt go together! And when your kids grow up, the questions grow in number too. And you have to be very careful what you answer, because when you least expect it, it will come to you in double quotes!

Sometimes, when I am driving alone, I allow myself to think that I am guilty of many things, many people. That I compromise on my personal side always. And that I have wrong priorities. I skip a lunch, I cut down my sleep. I buy a gift for that special occasion at office or organise an event. But at home, I am downright stingy on time. Right or wrong, I compromise personally. I put the wrong people on my priority list, while I remain just an option for them. The first step is to learn to love yourself first and become your own priority. Otherwise one day, you will become an option for others, and never a priority, a dear friend advised. And then of course, make a checklist. No, I don’t want to live a life of an ‘option’. I don’t want to be just an option in someone’s list. I picked up the cue. Every day I religiously make a priority list. I manage quite a lot, and, miss quite a few. Now, I make it a point to put my daughter right on top. Not for anything, just to make sure I don’t take her for granted. And also because I know how it feels to be nothing, but an option to the people I give priority to…

74 May 7-20, 2010

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