Number of Indian ‘stay-at-home husbands’ on the rise in Oman

“We knew when the office remained closed for about a month in April 2020 that our jobs were on the line and heads would roll. But it was the suddenness of the decision that took us by surprise, especially for those whose children were in final year. My son was then in 10th grade and my wife and I decided that she would continue to work in Oman. Luckily for Joseph, his wife’s job was secure enough for their son to get his visa. “After a few months of vacation in my hometown of Idukki, Kerala, I was back in Oman on my wife’s visa, and life has been good ever since.

“I don’t have the stress and pressure of work, which weighed heavily on my health. We moved from a two-bedroom apartment to a one-bedroom apartment, but the difference is that our life is much happier now. I’ve always loved cooking and watching movies and live games. I now live the life my ex-colleagues would be jealous of.

Most families like Joseph’s, where the wife’s job was not at stake, decided not to move permanently when the man of the house lost his job during the pandemic.

Krishnan Eashwaran, now 60, had worked in Oman for 26 years when he was told his contract was not going to be renewed in 2020. “My son and daughter are settled and staying out of Oman. Ideally, I could have returned to India but I love Oman where life is peaceful, pollution-free and noise-free, unlike India. My wife and I decided to stay in Oman, where I am now on a family reunification visa from her company.

The amount of my gratuity is divided into fixed deposits in banks in India, and my finances are managed by a consultant. Krishnan’s wife is employed as a private secretary to the managing director of a private company.

The bug of staying in Oman has bitten even those who have retired from the services, as in the case of Arjun Mitra. Mitra retired six months ago after turning 60, but his wife, who works as a teacher in a private school, is still on duty. With her two daughters settled comfortably with well-paying jobs elsewhere, Mitra wanted to enjoy her sleeves a little longer in Oman.

He is back with his wife’s visa and is currently enjoying a well-deserved retirement life in Oman. “We had to move from a four-bedroom villa to a one-bedroom apartment, but there’s no work-related stress now. All I do is enjoy my time with my workouts and walks, read books and hang out with my wife. I also help my wife in the kitchen and household chores.

Christina A. Kroll