• Mohana Prabhakar

In the beginning

The Daily Mood 1

This is a column that has only been in the making for a little over six years. It would be wrong to say that it has been baking, fermenting or even slow cooking all this time. Instead, it has been like the wispy rainclouds that seem to be flitting in and out of our lives over the past two weeks. Often there would be an issue that would have me sitting at my keyboard tapping away furiously.

As we all know, you never send an e-mail written in anger, and similarly, you never print anything written in a flurry of emotion. And by the time I got back to it, the essence would have become misty and insubstantial. At other times, I agonised over political correctness, and the final product read like a main course of boiled artichokes (with no salt on the table).

I still have food on my mind, as we just got done with Oman’s biggest hospitality event – the Oman Restaurant Awards. Rain threatened to be the star of the evening but luckily allowed restaurateurs their moments of glory.

Getting back to this column, I now announce my sincere intention, to write every week for the next many weeks. It will be in the paper every Tuesday, though we did break the rule this first week. Hopefully, it will also be in the same place, making it easier for you to find it should you wish to. The only caveat here is that some weeks we may be lucky enough to have a full page ad on that page and I could be unceremoniously dumped.

Also yes, I am aware that this weekly column is called The Daily Mood, but I will leave it to you to interpret that.

I find it difficult, not impossible, to write and put my name to something that I don’t mean. Therefore I am not going to confine myself to writing about ‘serious’ issues or ‘light’ issues, but also those in between. Quite simply, I will write about whatever resonates with me at some level that week.

For example, what stands out in my mind from my entire experience at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, where I spent a night last week, was the young gentleman at reception during checkout. Haitham could hold his own among the most pleasant and professional hotel staff anywhere in the world. He was efficient and his banter, exceptionally smart. Service is not something we can take for granted in Oman, so it’s nice to celebrate when we can.

Or I could write about the fact that there has to come a time, sooner rather than later, when people realise that the best way to deal with any crisis is to deal with it. This holds true for a teenager who has just failed in Math, and his parents don’t know yet or a grown man who pretends that if he waits quietly, oil prices are going to go up to $75 a barrel magically and all will be well again. Indecision is what differentiates a loser from a winner. Hesitating at the starting line can happen, but then, not to put in your all and go full speed for the finish line – now that is criminal.

It is a journey that I am going on with this column, and as the name suggests it is probably going to reflect the mood. ‘The mood’ could be mine, could be yours, or what we sense collectively around us. And if it involves my dysfunctional blinds or the fact that Rudolf Abel is one of my most favourite screen characters in recent times, so be it. Life’s too short. You can stop and smell the roses or connect with people. I choose the latter.

No doubt I will discover at some point down the line whether that I should have chosen weekly visits to the florist instead.

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