Cleaner’s joy and pain of bidding adieu to Muscat

Muscat: He is happy for going back home after serving several years in the Sultanate. At the same time, he is sad for permanent departure from his second home Oman, even though he worked as an expatriate civic worker for 20 years in the Muscat Municipality.

Ramdas, 56, admits the country gave him everything he wanted in life. He built a house, educated children to their wish, daughters got married and son joined a company back in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh recently. He had developed some special bonds with the people and the area he served.

“Reaching back home may be a pleasurable experience for many. But for me, Oman is my home away from home for the last 26 years and it fed me all these years,” an emotional Das told the Observer.

His typical day begins at 4 am when he wakes up and gets ready for the bus from the municipality that comes to pick the staff and distributes at different parts of the city. He would begin his duty with a foldable claw grabber in one hand and a green storage bag in the other hand. His walk would continue for two to three hours before he takes a short break. However, exactly after 8 hours of duty, he would be brought back along with others back to the camp.
“Years passed so fast. I had worked in another area of Ruwi for six years before I began my 20 years relationship with Al Falaj area in Ruwi. All my supervisors were very kind and generous. They helped me whenever I had an emergency,” said a contended Das.

Das knew every inch of Ruwi as he spent two decades in this area, and is known to some of the top officials living in this area because they have been seeing him since their childhood.

“One thing I have noticed in Ramdas is the punctuality. We know its 7’o clock if we spot him in front of my house and that has been the practice for many years. I keep seeing him since my school days,” says Ahmed al Hosni, a resident of Ruwi.

“We have a lot to learn from Das. Virtues like commitment, perseverance, accepting life with no complaints, dedication and giving 100 per cent to an assigned task, are some of the qualities that I have noticed in him,” Ahmed, a management executive added.

Ramdas is awaiting his turn on one of the repatriation flights to India before saying goodbye to the country that has ‘fed’ him and family for 26 years.