Telugu Diaspora in Muscat
He explained the significance of that unique function where they see the reflection of the full Moon in the milk in a silver plate in open air and...
He explained the significance of that unique function where they see the reflection of the full Moon in the milk in a silver plate in open air and drink it, after the participants recite 'Lalita Sahasranamam' and 'Hanuman Chalisa' and other sacred hymns
Expatriate Indian population in Oman is fairly higher and among them Telugu people account for quite a good number, next only to Keralites. Some of them have been here in Muscat for a very long time and most of them are in lucrative jobs. They all enjoy good equation with the local Omanis and also their compatriots from India. They meet on all important festival days and exchange 'bonhomie' and once in a way invite musicians and scholars from India for literary and cultural programmes. The other day, on 'Pournami', there was an interesting function arranged in the spacious Penthouse of a respected, highly placed officer of Central Bank of Oman, Hari Venugopal, attended by a number of families. A well-known violinist, the disciple of Lalgudi Jaya Raman, Poornachandar, who accompanied Dr. Bala Murali Krishna in many concerts on the violin and also a learned person, was present there. He explained the significance of that unique function where they see the reflection of the full Moon in the milk in a silver plate in open air and drink it, after the participants recite 'Lalita Sahasranamam' and 'Hanuman Chalisa' and other sacred hymns. It was believed to bestow on them Divine Blessings, particularly of Lord Hanuman. Most of them I had met there have been staying here for a very long time and one gentleman Ram Dhanwantari who held high office in Shipping Company and retired, started a Telugu Restaurant named 'Sankranti', first of its kind in Gulf counties, had been living there for the past 32 years and all of them are fairly well-off. Venugopal has been living here for more than 15 years and his son and daughter were educated here. His son Raghuram Hari has acquired proficiency in Mridangam and Morsing under the tutelage of renowned Mridangam Vidwan, M.L.N. Raju of Vijayawada, besides his qualification in Financial Management from an American University and his daughter Sravya is on her way to acquiring shortly a prestigious qualification in Accounting from U.K. with distinction. Two persons with whom I had occasion to interact, Susarla Srinivas, who works for Toyota and Chivukula Srinivas who is with Lexus, spoke highly of their life in Muscat and also the hospitable Omanis. Children of employees have good facilities of coaching and other extra-curricular activities in the Indian Schools with CBSE syllabus and they are faring well. There is vast difference between those who came here for jobs long ago and those who have been coming here for the past quite some time. They came to make a living and earned and saved well but now they are coming and earning well with the emphasis more on comfortable living and good educations for children than on saving. They have also expressed their happiness at the truly secular atmosphere prevailing all round. There are Krishna and Siva temples right in the heart of the city and our festivals like Sivaratri, Sri Rama Navami are celebrated with great fervor by the large number of Indians living here in perfect peace, receiving utmost co-operation from the local people. 'Siva Ratri' was celebrated this month and the Telugu people living here are planning to celebrate 'Sri Ram Navami' on a large scale in April. Someone pointed out that those who objected to the function in 'Bhagya Lakshmi' temple near Charminar in Hyderabad should come and see the conditions here on festive days. All those who have been fortunate enough in getting good jobs here are aware that the situation can last only as long as the going is good. They admit that the day is not far off when the Omanis will equip themselves with adequate training to handle even highly technical jobs also. It is estimated that more than 40,000 young job seekers enter the market every year. On this issue, Srinivas has a very pertinent reply. "It is all true. We are living here in peace, breathing unpolluted air, enjoying continuous power supply, cheap petrol, excellent infrastructure and perfect security and it will be a far cry for us back home in our state, as things stand today."