I do understand the underlying message of the statement but I do not entirely agree with it. I like re-visiting the past... because sometimes you miss seeing things the first time around. And when we discover things in our second or third or even fourth review, our perspective of the subject may change or we may realise that we have learnt something new. Or perhaps rekindle warm recollections of an event long stored in the depths of our memory. Which is why I like to re-read books I finished reading many years earlier, or watch DVD of movies I have already seen on the big screen, or dig up the archives of old blog posts.
Having finished digesting through the stock of new books I bought late last year, I decided to read some of the old novels in my collection. I am presently re-reading The Veteran by Frederick Forsyth, a book I bought in 2002. It is not quite a novel but a compilation of 5 separate stories or novella. The first novella in the book, which also lends its title for the whole collection, tells the story of the fatal mugging of a senior citizen somewhere in the north-east district of London and how a prominent lawyer intervened to get the criminals off the hook.
Although I had read the story 10 years ago, this second reading is no less exciting, even though I know of the twist at the end of the tale (as there is, in almost all of Forsyth's writing). This time around, I was caught by an interesting passage that made reference to the battle of Mirbat in the country of Oman. Surprised me a bit that I had not done follow-up reading of this event in the first instance.
The Battle of Mirbat is an actual historical episode that Forsyth had cleverly weaved into his fictional story. In 1972, the British government sent a small group of army personnel from their Special Air Service (SAS) to train Omani soldiers to help quell a communist-assisted rebellion in the southern region of Dhofar. The SAS team was based in the small fishing port of Mirbat, near Salalah. On 19 July of that year, the SAS training base was attacked by 200 to 300 local guerrillas. The story goes on to relate how the nine (9) SAS men rallied the aid of 30 to 40 Omani soldiers, gendarmes and militia, to fight and stave off the rebels until the arrival of air support. It is a story of sheer bravery to fight on even though hugely outnumbered.
I have been to Oman before but on short trips related to work rather than a holiday... which is a bit disappointing because it really is an interesting country with friendly people. It was also where I had my first taste of lamb mandey, that very delicious arabic rice dish that is becoming famous here in Malaysia. Hopefully, I get the chance to visit Oman again someday...
|Sohar Fort, on the north-eastern coast of Oman|
|An Omani fisherman prays on the beach, just soon after he had landed his catch|