ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

A ‘blue moon’ is around the corner – on July 31. It’s a rare phenomenon attributed to the occurrence of two full moons in a month.

It last appeared in 2012 and the next sighting is said to be in 2018. This year in particular, the blue moon, astrological experts say, is heavily connected to romantic relationships.

This isn’t about just any sort of love though – but the kind of love that comes around “only once in a blue moon.” So, we asked people in Oman about their ‘once in a blue moon’ love stories while waiting to see if this blue moon actually brings along the spell that it promises.

‘With him, it feels like home’

Noradibah Abdul Ghani and Nahil Hilal Faraj, met when fate intervened and got them together in Muscat. They had both returned from Australia after completing their education. “I was already 27 and marriage seemed nowhere in sight. One day, I felt dejected thinking of where my life was heading, so after prayers, I made a du’a (supplication) asking for a man with two qualities – loving and understanding. Not long after, I met a Kenyan gentleman who spoke my native language, and like me, had studied in Australia. My familiarity with his language (Swahili) and culture helped in forming a connection. He sent an article of him published in a prominent local fashion magazine. The line that caught me was his mantra in life, ‘If you can’t dance, you can’t romance’.

I love dancing and this was hard for me to ignore. Eventually, he proposed on a dhow by the beautiful Damaniyat Islands. It couldn’t have been more perfect. No matter wherever I am,  I feel at home when he is by my side.”

Faraj says he had given up on finding someone compatible. “Fate brought this lady to me. After getting to know her for just two weeks, I knew she was the one. Even though we were not dating then, I confidently told my mom that I would make her my wife soon.”

From rivals to lovers

Faris, an Omani, met his Pakistani wife Sehar (names changed to protect identity) in the midst of a professional rivalry.

Faris reminisces, “It was March 2005, when I met my wife for the first time at Comex.” The interesting part of the story is that they both worked for rival telecom companies.

“I wanted to be as bright as possible and was doing everything to attract customers to my kiosk. Sehar passed by our kiosk and complained that the lights in our kiosk was distracting her customers. While she was complaining, I simply told her, ‘Ok why don’t we have coffee and talk about this situation?’

“We met for coffee and spoke of everything, but work,” Faris says. “Then one day I happened to injure my ankle pretty bad and was in a cast. Around the same time, my dad too got injured and both of us were sitting in the TV room, talking, when I told him about Sehar. As she belonged to another culture dad was a bit apprehensive about our compatibility.

“While we were talking, the doorbell rang and there she was, with a huge bouquet of flowers, a big chocolate bar and a get well soon card. My dad and I just stood there, staring at this breathtakingly beautiful woman, wondering why she would go that extra mile to do this. It has been ten years since and we have a beautiful baby girl.

“The best part is that I never even once asked her how she knew where I lived. Simply magical.”

Love at first sight

Ahmed and Hannan’s (names changed) story seems straight out of the movies. Ahmed, who hails from Egypt, was working in Oman in 2011 when he first met Hannan, a Moroccan.

Ahmed says, “It was love at first sight for me. I saw her and knew immediately that this is the woman with whom I am going to spend the rest of my life. I pursued her and asked her permission to contact her. I told her my intentions were noble and she agreed.”

Then, there was a twist in the tale. “I was engaged to be married to this girl from Eygpt. When I told my family, they were shocked. They kept asking me how I could be so sure about this girl, whom I hardly knew. But I just knew it was her. I met her on July 21. I still remember that day very clearly and we married in less than five months.”

Beyond borders

Amelia, a British teacher and Hassan (names changed), an Omani police officer have been married for 26 years. Amelia first met her husband in Salalah when she was visiting Oman.

“The first thing he said to me when we met at a party was, ‘You are very skinny’. I found that very rude coming from a person who was also skinny for a man. I didn’t like him at all then. Can you imagine that was his best opening line?”

Her English humour and his Omani politeness eventually set the stage for their romance. “More than magic, it was luck for us both. We are complete opposites, you see. But we laugh a lot when we are together and we’ve gone through so much already.”

Many people wondered how the couple would make it despite cultural differences. “My father-in-law once asked me, ‘A bird can marry a fish, but where can they build their nest?’ Well, we made our home and here we are.”

Standing the test of time

Finally, we have a long distance romance that persevered for nine years and across countries. Ayesha Patel met Kamran Khan in Mumbai, when she was in college.

She left for England to pursue her studies and Khan came back to Oman where he was studying. They kept in touch over the Internet.

“Kamran’s father once disconnected their home Internet. After that, Kamran would sit at an Internet cafe to chat with me,” says Ayesha.

“Then we decided to get jobs in India to be near each other. For a long time, it did not work the way we wanted it to. I quit my job in England and moved to Mumbai so that I could be closer to Kamran, who was working in Bengaluru at that time.”

Kamran then got a job in Oman and had to move back. When this happened, Ayesha immediately took up a job in Dubai.

“He would come visit me during weekends. One day, at the spur of the moment, we decided to get married. We tied the knot three days after that, which is quite a tedious task for Indian families where weddings are huge and take a lot of planning,” adds Ayesha.

“Now, here we are in Oman, so busy with our work that despite getting married a year ago, we still haven’t managed to go on our honeymoon.

But nonetheless, we are together and that is all that matters.”